How to Build a Direct Relationship With Readers

shutterstock_107123177That’s the holy grail of book marketing these days – for both publishers and authors: building a direct relationship with readers. The idea is that you can engage with them year-round and when it comes time to promote that next book, they’re there, ready and expecting it.

But, like most magic of modern digital marketing, it’s easier said than done and the rules of how it’s done are constantly shifting. Here are three tips that can get you started on the right path:

1. Provide free stuff in exchange for contact information.
2. Build and nurture a mailing list.
3. Don’t spam; communicate with respect.


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Penguin Random House Creates New Marketing Department (DBW)
The company-wide department will both support the marketing of individual authors and titles but will also lead marketing innovation within the company.

The Rise of the Free E-Textbook (DBW)
A few years ago, a European start-up called Bookboon proclaimed that it wanted to make serious inroads into the U.S. e-textbook market. In 2013, it had 55 million of its e-textbooks downloaded in the U.S. Ambitions are for 100 million in 2014.

AAR Calls Out Amazon (PW)
The Association of Authors’ Representatives, the trade association for agents, wrote a strongly worded letter to Amazon chastising it for letting authors get hurt in its conflict with Hachette.
Related: Inside Amazon’s Battle With Hachette.

Books-A-Million Goes on Marketing Offensive Against Amazon (DBW)
Without mentioning Amazon by name, the regional bookstore chain took dead aim at the e-commerce giant. BAM put out a press release proclaiming that Hachette authors were doing just fine on its online book portal, a thinly veiled reference to Amazon’s battle with the publisher in which authors and readers are getting caught in the crossfire.

INscribe Wants to Help You Monitor Your Ebooks (DBW)
INscribe Digital has launched a new tool that you can use to make sure your ebooks are available where you think they are.

The Problem With Digital Preservation (The Verge)
When it comes to preserving content, the digital era offers its own set of challenges to libraries, many of which have as a mission to preserve information. (Of course, loyal DBW readers, you’d know that we started covering this story two years ago: In the Digital Era, Publication Isn’t Preservation.)

Judge Denise Cote in Vanity Fair (Vanity Fair)
Glossy magazine Vanity Fair paints a portrait of Judge Denise Cote, the federal judge who heard United States v. Apple, better known here as the ebook price-fixing matter, as scrupulous, even-handed, efficient, and, in some ways, a victim.

The Future of Libraries and Ebooks (YouTube)
In a regional TEDx talk, BiblioLabs CEO Andrew Roskill talks about his vision for the future of libraries and ebooks. Basically, he believes the digital reading experience at libraries – from browsing to borrowing to reading – needs to be improved if libraries are going to stop losing ground.

Perseus Launches Client Services for Academic Publishers (Pub Lunch)
Perseus Academic will do for scholarly and academic publishers what the company already does for its hundreds of publisher clients that work with Constellation and other Perseus publishers services platforms. Several have already signed on.

ReadCube Launches iOS App (DBW)
The tool that purports to make academic research and reading easier just hit the iPad. Other new features were announced, too.

Ellora’s Cave: Software Glitch Affecting Royalty Payments (PW)
Digital publishing pioneer, erotic romance publisher and retailer Ellora’s Cave is having trouble getting royalty payments to authors in a timely fashion, a problem the company’s CEO is blaming on new accounting software.


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