Monday, January 28, 2013

They Don't Know You Exist

I can't explain how lightning strikes, and I don't mean the weather.  I've heard tales of a writer doing basically nothing besides publishing their book and then 6 weeks later it's a bestseller.  It's still the same thing--word of mouth WOM--but really fast.  The audience was exposed to a book and read it, liked it and told their friends. 

This is exactly how it works.  (Yes, that's Heather Locklear before she was arrested on the DUI)

I contacted a number of book bloggers this week and some were very excited to read my books.  Of course I was glad about that but it made me realize that with all the books out there, the possibility you will be struck by this Fame Lightning is about as possible as being struck by actual lightning.

The problem as I see it on the horizon is that this too, like freebies, will lose its effectiveness.  There will be so many writers asking for reviews and so many horrid books turning reviewers off that it will become increasingly difficult to get reviews or placement.
At that point probably the only way will be by paying a person to book tour you.  They will have a circle of bloggers who relies on them for a certain level of quality and the publicist will be able to rely on them to review the book, conduct the interview or do the promo.

Since everything happens now with increasing speed I'm guessing that in a year it will be almost impossible to get to bloggers with a track record as a newbie.

Start now if you haven't already.


Jim Self said...

The rules are changing quickly. I think the only way to guarantee stability is to build the means to contact people. Having a good website, email list, etc. doesn't get you any immediate results, but it does become powerful over time.

The spirit of the freebie is "expose readers to my work by any means necessary," and it's the exposure part that works (or doesn't). On the one hand, I agree that a new, different set of gatekeepers will arise to filter the possibilities. On the other hand, I think there will be new ways to get exposure.

I predict that fiction genres are going to subdivide even further, and sites dedicated to those narrowed subgenres will rise and serve niches. For example, if I write steampunk/epic fantasy hybrids, and I build a site to highlight only that kind of book, by any author, I've created a great way to gain exposure for myself. That kind of stuff serves the reader, the writer, and the middleman, so it's bound to happen.

The Hostess with the Mostest said...

I have always thought there would be the rise of the niche market. This was predicted to me about fifteen years ago. The 2 million dollar windfall is rare enough now but it will be even more rare in the future as writers will develop their own smallish following. But when you're drawing from a worldwide audience even small can be quite large.

What you do today will yield dividends in the future. Start now.