Thursday, May 01, 2014

Spotlight On An Individual In A Crowded Field

Not that e-book readers are taking over publishing completely, but the digital market is an important component of modern day book publishing. The ease of creating an e-book provides authors, and in some cases their literary agents, with a simple way to get a worthwhile book published when the traditional houses aren't interested.

Authors are discovering the benefits of going straight to digital and skipping the expensive printing option. No physical books to store and best of all, no physical books to ship at even more expense. Readers are discovering the instant gratification that comes with downloading an e-book, and it has been found that the fan base for downloads to smart phones is growing.

The result? Thousands of books are published every day and if yours is one of them, how do you make your book stand out in a crowded field?

Sure there's Smashwords to find e-books for every possible electronic device, and there's Goodreads or LibraryThing for free books, but how can you find a book in a genre you like at a discount unless you're somehow hooked in to some information network that lets you know which books are currently on sale?

BookBub provides the spotlight that a publisher can shine on new releases. For a price, of course.

Hosting a free e-book giveaway to generate some word-of-mouth buzz? BookBub can do that with its newsletters and marketing strategies that were developed by tech-savvy entrepreneurs who saw a niche and then filled it. Selling your books at a steep discount to boost sales? BookBub can let readers know, via its network of subscribers who are actively looking for just such deals.

Readers need some guidance to find their way to your book, and small independent publishers just don't have the financial means to launch expenisve marketing campaigns. For them, BookBub is the marketing department on a budget, running small scale promotions that get the book noticed by the reading public. Once the public has taken up a book, it will all but sell itself. It's the getting to that point that has BookBub drawing interest.

The investing world sees the benefit, and thus potential profit, that the start-up will bring to small-scale publishers and large publishers who are looking to cut costs where they can. BookBub has raised $3.8 million to expand its reach.

The firm will act as a gatekeeper, with an editorial staff choosing which books will make the cut and which will be deemed unworthy of inclusion. Once accepted, a publisher will have to pay for the privilege, but if BookBub works, the investment should pay for itself through higher sales.

Authors who are now expected to do much of their own promotion may turn to BookBub to do much of the work that they cannot do because they are authors who write, not marketing gurus who develop campaigns. For the small publisher, it's another way to reach people once you've exhausted your e-mail list and need to find other readers who otherwise won't know you exist.

How much longer, then, until some other Internet entrepreneur sees the idea and decides to create a rival, offering the same services at a lower cost? Will the market one day be awash in promotion options, creating a crowded field in a crowded field?

Then someone else will come along and find another way to shine a spotlight on the dimming spotlight and thus are Internet millionaires born.

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