Part Six of my ebook email interviews! Featuring intelligent excellent answers from literary agent Dawn Fredrick of Red Sofa Literary!
Scroll down to previous posts for the original three questions.
Much like the music industry, the medium by which consumers purchase books is always in a state of evolution. And as we've witnessed, the printed book (as we know) isn't going away anytime soon. Today's environment is one where readers will have more options to purchase a book that's convenient to their personal lifestyles. This means more accessibility on all fronts.
Ebook sales are increasing, print books are still in high demand. Publishers will have to adjust (as they are doing now) accordingly. There will be smaller print runs, with a stronger focus on publishing books in alternative formats. Additionally, this means that authors will have more opportunities to get published, just maybe in less-than-traditional formats (which are increasingly becoming traditional no less).
I believe that readers will play a role in what types of books are printed. Some books may be better suited for tablets and less valuable to a reader, while other books are more special and important to be read & owned in printed editions. I would be ecstatic if readers could bundle their book purchases at the register line, being able to purchase both the print & electronic editions simultaneously.
Last but not least, the book as a piece of art is going to be a bigger focus, and there are definite categories of books that will survive the ebook revolution. Ex: Cookbooks, coffee table books, etc. We’re already seeing this trend now, which makes me extremely happy.
It’s a convenience thing, and I believe generational too. There is now an adult generation that grew up with computers; using it for many daily activities, personal and work-related. Reading ebooks on any tablet or cell phone seems like a natural transition for that generation.
Being of the old school, It took me 3 years to finally purchase a tablet, and it was a great decision. I actually read more, if that’s possible. As a reader (and agent), I use my tablet to read novels that I wouldn’t necessarily want to own a print edition of, along with materials requested for my agency. However, I only purchase books that I want to spend quality time with. Where I can smell the pages, curl up on a couch and separate myself from the internet-obsessed world we live in.
I do believe the marketing departments play a huge role, in that they may focus more on some titles than others. We’ve all seen this internally in publishing. Yes, it can affect the rise & fall in the marketplace. Yet, there are steps any author can take to also keep a buzz around his/her book.
There’s no excuse for any author to sit back and not actively participate in the marketing of his/her book. Social media is extremely accessible, and once a person meets the right people in the social media – good things can happen as those relationships develop. In the pre-internet days, one had to depend on the marketing departments to help in the promotion of a book. Now, there are multiple outlets and ways to reach out to readers and fellow writers. My theory is that it’s the best interest to any author interest to come up with a detailed marketing strategy and execute it along with the publisher’s plan. Additionally to be prepared to promote that book for at least 3-5 years.
While the marketing departments may refocus their attention on newer books, there’s something to be said for keeping that buzz going, thereby resulting in consistent sales #s, and additional print runs of one’s book. And as I’ve stated already, there are smaller print runs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the author isn’t important to the publisher, it is more so a decision to consider the multiple formats a book will be available to readers.