When I first started writing and publishing books, the indication of a books success relied upon trade reviews, a few book signings in popular bookstores and maybe a mention on the best sellers list. If you made it on Book TV you had arrived. The author for the most part could remain in the background and the book took center stage.
If you follow my blog, you know my biggest challenge with relaunching my publishing company is maintaining the traditional formula of book publishing and promotion and adapting to the new book publishing model that relies heavily on social media.
Now it seems the author takes the center stage and the book is a by product. Books have now become a branding strategy for celebrities, speakers, and reality show stars. Publishing houses won’t even consider publishing a title without checking an author’s Facebook or Twitter.
Print books take a back seat to eBooks and electronic reading devices. (Although this is better for the environment, there is nothing like holding a book in your hands and turning the page.) Some titles don’t even go into print, they only come out as an eBook.
Bookstore book signings have been replaced by blog tours, Twitter chats, and hangouts. Social media does make it easier to promote and reach a larger audience, but does the immediacy of electronic media diminish the quality of the books that are being published?
I guess the same argument can be made concerning self publishing vs traditional publishing, but even in self publishing when I first started, it was about the book, the content, the composition, and the construction.
I understand that evolution and innovation are good things, but when it comes to books it is hard for me to play by the new rules. I like the game the way it was where the book was in the starting lineup and I could ride the bench.
If you are an author, what challenges are you having with the new book model and the role of social media?