Promotions and Platforms Matter Even More
And now for item #3 from my earlier post entitled Reading Stats and Paradigm Shifts...
What happens when the billboard spine of the physical world goes away in the online world? Brick-and-mortars use devices like endcaps, front-of-store displays, table placement and other promotional vehicles to grab your eye. Online retailers have an entirely different bag of tricks, all of which seem to fight for your attention on any given product screen.
Author platform is critical in both the online and brick-and-mortar worlds, but I would argue it might be even more important in the former, especially if that platform includes a healthy e-mailing list. Publishers love authors with huge e-mailing lists. What's "huge?" That depends on the size of the market for the book, but it's safe to say that "thousands" is much more meaningful and attractive than "hundreds". "Tens of thousands" is likely to get any publisher's attention, but only if that list can be used to hype the book from time to time.
When you're fighting for exposure in a physical bookstore you're competing with hundreds of thousands of titles. When you're competing online you're trying to rise above millions. Although there are only 100K titles currently available for the Kindle, that number will grow dramatically in the future and the same challenge will exist there as well. I'm hoping that as Amazon evolves the Kindle platform (the device, service and site) they'll consider implementing new innovative ways to work with authors and publishers to provide prospective customers with more sample content and other goodies; given the uniquely "always connected" mode the Kindle features, the promotional potential for content seems endless.
Sometimes I think the most important thing I do as an author is grow my platform. My email list is up to thousands, although I can't imagine having 10s of thousands. Then again, I couldn't imagine having 1000s just a couple of years ago.
I guess what surprises me the most is that many authors and potential authors don't even think platform!
Posted by: T Demop, Blogging for Business | February 08, 2008 at 04:28 PM