Readersforum's Blog

July 31, 2012

Why social media isn’t the magic bullet for self-epublished authors

Social media: great white hope, or albatross? Photograph: Alamy

In the third in a series of essays on digital media and publishing, Ewan Morrison, who will appear at the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, claims that as the project to monetise social media falters the self-epublishing industry’s defects will be laid bare

“Authors – become a success through building an ‘internet platform’!”. For almost five years we’ve been subjected to the same message. At the London College of Communication’s iGeneration conference this year, I heard that social media was now the only way to sell books, and witnessed glowing examples of the successful use of SM from epub authors such as Joanna Penn (who has her own consultancy and sells $99 multimedia courses on How to Write A Novel). At the Hay festival last month, I heard Scott Pack – self-described “blogger, publisher and author of moderately successful toilet books” – declare that mainstream media, papers and TV “no longer function in selling books”; that the net is now the only way for authors to – you’ve heard it before – “build a platform”. Already every fourth tweet I receive is from an “indie” author trying to self-promote, saying things like “Hoping for a cheeky RT of my last tweet on my book & the 99p offer. B v grateful.” And another – “Hope all is well! My dad just published his latest book on Amazon – if possible, I was wondering if you had any tips for him getting his book reviewed by any relevant bloggers. Appreciate any insight.” And then there are the hundreds of tweets from social media ebook consultants and so-called specialists offering “the key to online marketing success”.

I’m convinced that epublishing is another tech bubble, and that it will burst within the next 18 months. The reason is this: epublishing is inextricably tied to the structures of social media marketing and the myth that social media functions as a way of selling products. It doesn’t, and we’re just starting to get the true stats on that. When social media marketing collapses it will destroy the platform that the dream of a self-epublishing industry was based upon.

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August 4, 2011

Facebook buys Push Pop Press e-publishing firm

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:12 am

By Chris Meadows

Today Push Pop Press, the e-publishing firm who produced an interactive version of an Al Gore climatology book, announced today that it has been acquired by Facebook. Facebook has no interest in publishing interactive e-books, and Push Pop has announced it will no longer be publishing anything. Instead, Facebook will be incorporating Push Pop’s technology into its own platform.

As Tim Carmody put it on Wired:

So instead of an independent born-digital press, publishing next-generation multimedia novels (or magazines or textbooks or children’s books or cookbooks), Facebook will probably get marginally better iOS apps.

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March 3, 2011

Self-publishing author sells 100,000+ e-books per month

Filed under: e-tailers — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:23 pm

By Chris Meadows

amanda-hocking-kindle-authorBusiness Insider has a story about a 26-year-old writer who self-publishes on Amazon’s store and makes “millions”. Amanda Hocking is reportedly the best-selling independent author on Amazon (we mentioned her briefly in January and a commenter brought her up earlier this month). She reportedly sells 100,000 e-books per month at prices of $.99 to $2.99, and keeps 70% of the take.

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