How Authors Should Market Themselves Online

A website, according to industry guru Mike Shatzkin, is an “anchor”—”it is the only web presence the author knows s/he will always control.”

Yes, authors must have a presence on other sites, including GoodReads, Library Thing, Amazon, Google+ and more traditional social media, but the personal site is the only “real estate an author totally controls” and it’s “the most important tool in an author’s kit to get new followers.”

Publishers should be encouraging in this endeavor, but, according to Shatzkin, rarely are. In Shatzkin’s view, publishers “should insist that authors have websites and build them if necessary,” making sure all the author’s books (even if some are from a different publisher) are present on the site. Moreover, publishers should “audit” these sites and offer suggestions when necessary.

According to Shatzkin, “it is past time for publishers to be offering that help.”


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Amazon’s US Prime Membership Jumps to 44 Million (Huffington Post)
A new Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) analysis of consumer shopping patterns on Amazon was released for the past quarter, and it shows that Amazon Prime now has 44 million members in the US, spending an average of $1,200 per year, compared to $700 for non-members. CIRP estimates that 47 percent of US Amazon customers use Prime. Membership has more than doubled in the past two years.

HarperCollins UK Launches Game of Thrones App (Bookseller)
HarperCollins UK partnered with author George R.R. Martin and the digital product studio Reason to create an app for fans of the television show “Game of Thrones.” The app will serve as a “bridge product” for fans who have not read the books, allowing them to input where they are in the series and receive spoiler-free extracts from across the book series. The publisher will continue to update the app with future seasons of the show and upcoming books in the series.

Why Publishers Must Leverage Original Content (Book Business)
On the heels of Simon & Schuster’s launch of Glommable, the Touchstone Books “binge-worthy” pop-culture site, one writer believes more publishers need to follow this trend, as “the insights it will provide to the publisher about consumers is invaluable.” Efforts to create similar projects will undoubtedly require lots of solid content, but, in this writer’s opinion, the efforts are worth it: “The more the industry understands about readers (and non-readers), the better.”

Who Are Tomorrow’s Readers? (Joe Wikert)
One writer discusses the future of ebooks and young people’s reading patterns. “The majority of people don’t just want text dumped on a screen and aren’t interested in the same stories re-told with slight variations,” writes Amy Sterling Casil. “This is one of the reasons why younger readers prefer paper books.”

Library Data in the UK to Be Improved (Bookseller)
Coming on the heels of a recent report that only 70 percent of children in the UK visit public libraries, as well as the disputes and fallout stemming from that announcement, the chair of the Leadership for Libraries said that “the information is not good enough” and that he will hire a data analyst to look into it. “We need more accurate information on usage and how many libraries we have,” Paul Blantern said. “The fact that we are debating the data shows that no one knows the truth.” to Integrate with Android Auto (PR Newswire) announced in a press release that it now supports the Android Auto operating system, becoming “the first and only audiobooks application” to do so. According to the press release, there will be over 60 million connected cars in five years, and “car-focused telecom, hardware, and software will drive $51 billion in annual revenue by 2018.”


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