Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Author as Producer - it's not just about ebooks anymore. Case Study 04

The Author as Producer - it's not just about ebooks anymore. Case Study 03

Becoming a Media Producer: Even Better Than an Author

The point I have to pause here is to tell you that you've just morphed into something more powerful and more creative than you've ever been before.

Books, especially ebooks, have become a new type of critter. They bring you people to your website and into your mailing list/membership so you can help them with improving their lives.

Books are a messenger, an invitation much like the one Harry Potter got to come to Hogwarts.

You as the author, when you start your self-publishing, are also beginning an incredible adventure. It's real, it's 3-D, and will keep you involved from here on out.

Fiction writers often fight this when they should embrace it (much as J. K. Rowlings has expanded her life into that famous series.)

Authors become Media Producers When they Self-Publish

It's true. I ran across this simple statement when studying up on Copyblogger's New Rainmaker.

As we continue explaining this spreadsheet of tested and proved promotional actions, this becomes painfully obvious.

People don't all want to experience their lives in hardcopy books. They also want video, audio, images as well as several formats of ebooks - and in different combinations.

Once you take on the mantle of Content Producer, you can convert your words to all these formats to reach the widest possible amount of audience.

You reach out to your friends the search engine bots and let them help you spread the word.

Those two paragraphs above encompass the bulk of what it means to promote your book these days.

The Spreadsheet Promotion Section

    Audio,   Presentation,   Video,  
Synnd Campaigns
    Video,   Bookmarking,   Social News,   Twitter
    Slideshare,   Issuu,   Gdrive (public),   Scribd,   Doc-Stoc, 
Audio,   Soundcloud
Cover Art
    Pinterest,   Flickr,   G+ (public)
You're probably familiar with several of these sites. Others are new. (We'll cover Synnd later.)

That just proves the point that no two people utilize the same resources to get their data the way they like it.

It may also have given you the idea that in order to get your content to all these sites, you are going to get into a lot of work. Yes and no. Lots of this is automated. And more of this automation isn't visible in the above. We'll get back to this shortly - let's keep talking about the broad strokes at this point.

Producing Varied Content (Media) From Your Book

You take your text, record it (audio), make a presentation from it (a new PDF), combine audio and presentation to make a video.

You can also take excerpts from it (cover, text) and create promotion pieces which link back to your landing page, as well as to all of the distributors.

The cover itself is content to use - which will promote your book on these sites, linking back to those landing pages.

One point I mentioned briefly last time was courses. This is yet another production, but is capable of being short versions as ecourses to get email opt-ins, and also long versions which are paid renditions of your book. Particularly useful in non-fiction.

If you record your audio for each chapter (such as you'd do in order to create lessons) then you now can combine these into an audiobook. More sales.

Each chapter can also go out as a podcast - linking back to where they can buy the book, which also has an opt-in to become members of your list (even join your membership and pay you monthly for the honor and privelege.) 

Courses can also apply to fiction works, particularly where you've done extensive background work (character studies, sketches, photos of the area it takes place in - if based in real locations, or even if inspired by real locations. In that way, you are taking fans through your concept art as they access each chapter.  Again, leverage your original work to get an extra income source.

All this sets you up as a media producer, no longer just an author. And no longer just dependent on whether a single version of your book sells.

You've just freed yourself from Amazon's chains

Having only published on one distributor, or only in hardcopy, or letting some traditional publisher govern how to produce and sell your book - these are all a form of slavery. Letting other people and corporations control your life - albeit, it allows you (if successful) to just sit down and write. (If you are in this scenario, look down and at the corner of your eye - not directly - and you may see a shadow of a shackle on your ankle...)

Amazon does one thing well - make income from your book.

What they don't do well is to reward the authors for their work. KDP Select makes sure you can't sell it anywhere else. Current surveys show that the sales in doing this aren't as high as they once were. And you can never know what sales you didn't get if you don't also put that book elsewhere. (Mine show that it's roughly 1/2 to 1/3 more on top of what you are making on Amazon for the same set of books.)

Amazon's new all-you-can-read buffet is even worse for authors. Great for Amazon, though.

Meanwhile, the traditional publishers have renogitiated their contracts with Amazon so they can raise their prices. The results: lower income for authors, higher income for Amazon.

The point of this short rant is this: publish everywhere you can, in as many formats as possible - and leverage your original work to much higher incomes.

One sidebar to this sidebar - when you are only on Amazon, you only show up once in Google. If you are on 6 distributors for the same books, you have a chance of showing up in 6 places out of the top 10 or 20 rankings for that book. That's just distributors. Now put your book trailer out there on several video sites, and your promotional PDF on the doc-sharing sites (as well as the paid-for full versions), and your promotional presentation out there - and you have a chance to take most of the top 20 spots on Google for that book title.

If you do this for all your books, guess what happens when someone looks you up as an author - yes, you're everywhere. And all those links go to where they can buy your book.


More Book Income.

Financial Freedom.

See where we're going here?

Next: the pure promotion play - involving the reading communities

We've run a bit long again, so there's going to be one more installment about this spreadsheet.

You're overview will be complete.

At this point, we've converted and published all the content and media we need to. The next step is to tell the three main reading communities about your book.

After that we create bundles for promotion and for sale. This then set your audience up to make money from your book by recommending it to others. As well, you'll be able to get professional salespeople to start pitching your book for you. This means you are now going to be leveraging those people's lists - and getting sales you aren't able to on your own.

I'm chomping at the bit to get this next one out to you - so stay tuned...

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