The publishing world is spinning on its axis and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Where she stops, nobody knows—so publishers need to do everything they can to maximize resources and engage readers and potential authors alike.
Here are 9 strategies for publishers to maximize their resources:
- Publishing – As a publisher, your number one resource is your main sellable content, such as e-books and print books. This can be distributed in a manner of ways, but the content you put out can also be used as a resource. For example, adding a preview of an upcoming title in the back of a current book is a good way to maximize resources and bring in future customers.
- Social Media – Sites like Twitter and Facebook offer bite-sized communication and interaction with readers and potential authors alike. As Peter McCarthy says, there aren’t any other efforts for publishers that “yield the insights and long-lasting audience development of social media.”
- Visual Content – Establishing a visual content brand, through platforms such as Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram, can be a good way for publishers to remain visually pertinent to customers. Visual content is also shareable and has the ability to go viral, which keeps your brand in front of your target market.
- Videos and Vlogging – Utilizing videos extends that visual presence and combines it with social media. By using sites like the Twitter-owned Vine and Google’s YouTube, publishers can establish a visual brand to maintain engagement and connection to their target audience.
- Mobile-Based Reader Communities – Wattpad, a free mobile online community for writers and readers to connect, is one of the more well-known mobile reading communities and is already being utilized by authors and publishers to market their content. Wattpad and similar sites help budding authors practice their skills and build a following.
- Networking – One of the best ways to network in publishing is by attending industry events, such as the upcoming Pubwest Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Another good resource for networking is are professional networking sites, like LinkedIn, where you can utilize their online groups and communities.
- B2B Marketing – Marketing to other businesses can include the wholesale distribution of books through bookstores, like Barnes and Noble, as well as independent bookstores. Depending on the type of content you publish, you can also market to schools, corporations, churches—the possibilities are endless.
- Direct Sales – Consider a direct sales channel, the same way J.K. Rowling did for Pottermore. Having a direct sales channel where readers can purchase content directly from you is not only good for your profits, but it also cuts out the middleman and makes it easier for your readers to purchase content.
- Existing and Adjacent Customers – Using marketing strategies like newsletters, loyalty programs, or even free content, such as upselling with a free e-book sample after a print purchase, can be a great way to market to existing customers. Another resource is “adjacent customers”—or fans. Porter Anderson describes adjacent customers as “readers whose tastes lie next door to some of your book’s (or several of your books’) interests” and goes on to discuss the benefits of Peter McCarthy’s idea of using “comps” (titles deemed comparable to another publication) to sell to non-book audiences. By drawing in readers from a comparable publication, you create a built-in audience with an established market already in place.
This list is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. New sites, apps, software, social media platforms, etc., are born every day, giving authors, publishers, and readers easier ways to continue to engage and connect with each other. That is why it is imperative that publishers remain innovative, staying on top of current trends and technology and making sure to maximize resources, so that they can be a part of the digital disruption—and not a casualty of it.