Recently I had two different companies come to the house for some home interior improvements. Both of these men pulled out their iPads and showed me samples of different designs to choose from. All I could think was: What did people do before iPads? And, how did we even get by growing up without iPhones in our hands? Change happens so fast that sometimes we forget what life was like before.
I have an old rotary phone out in the garage, and I keep it because it’s funny. A rotary phone used to be a staple of every house and now it’s a funny, bulky, outdated thing that kids today don’t even recognize. With technology changing at warp speed, we have to change with it, or we get left behind. Some stuff might be old-school cool, but some things are just outdated.
As a publicist, if I propose a book marketing and publicity strategy for authors with outdated practices, I lose credibility. Staying on the cutting edge of trends means knowing when it’s time to dump outdated strategies that don’t work and jump in with current trends that do.
So let’s take a look at what you might want to leave behind (kind of like those rotary phones), and what online marketing trends you might want to follow.
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How Siri, Alexa and Other IPAs Will Revolutionize Publishing (Joe Wikert)
For the past several years, I’ve been writing about how containers, such as books, newspapers and magazines, are slowly fading away. They’ll certainly be around for many years, but their relevance will slip into the background as personalized, digital content streams become more important. The more I think about the future, the more I believe two other trends will have an even more significant impact on reading, learning and engaging with content: voice user interfaces (VUI) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Book Publishing Employment Down by One-Quarter in 10 Years (Thad McIlroy)
The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that employment in the book publishing industry dropped by over a quarter (25.7 percent) since spring 2006 and nearly a third (32.5 percent) from its peak 20 years ago. It could be worse: the newspaper industry lost 60 percent of staff since 1990. Periodicals lost 36 percent.
New App, Litsy, Aims to Be the Instagram of Books (PW)
Todd Lawton and Jeff LeBlanc, cofounders of Out of Print, an apparel and gift company that offers T-shirts and totes featuring vintage book covers, have expanded into app development. Launched in April, Litsy is an iOS app that aims to displace Instagram and Twitter as the go-to platform for short-form mobile social media conversations about books.
The Marketing We Deserve (Seth Godin)
We say we want sustainable packaging… but end up buying the one in fancy packaging instead. We say we want handmade, local goods… but end up buying the cheap one, because it’s “just as good.”
Interview with Shelfie’s Peter Hudson (TeleRead)
Peter Hudson, co-founder and CEO of BitLit Media, now known as Shelfie, has grown his startup book bundling firm significantly since I spoke with him last, in December of 2014.
A Few Words with Adam Gomolin (Pub Perspectives)
It’s a golden age, says Adam Gomolin, “with so many companies competing to find new models with better value propositions for authors.”
The Crowdfunding Publisher: David Roche Interview (BookMachine)
David Roche has been on the boards of HarperCollins, BookTrust, Waterstones and HMV, and was CEO of Borders and Books etc. He now runs his own consultancy business and is non-exec Chairman of London Book Fair, Chairman of New Writing North and Chair of the Advisory Board of BookBrunch. David’s currently crowdfunding for his book Just Where You Left It… And Other Poems – (how to survive school, parents and everything else that Is unfair In life).
Audiobooks for Indie Authors – Part One (BookWorks)
No part of book publishing has grown faster in the last few years than audiobooks. The numbers of books published, of copies sold, and of audio formats, have been increasing dramatically, opening new opportunities for indie authors.
Scholastic to Launch Multi-Platform ‘Horizon’ (DBW)
Scholastic announced that it is launching worldwide Horizon, a supernatural survival series for readers ages 9 and up. As part of Scholastic’s multi-platform publishing program, the new books are combined with “a fast-paced digital game that allows readers to test their survival skills.” The series will launch in January 2017.