If you were lucky, you got to attend the Digital Book World 2014 conference and hear some of the amazing presentations about where the publishing industry was, is, and will be soon. One of the presentations, by Peter Hildick-Smith of Codex Group LLC, is about the importance of author branding. In his presentation, Hildick-Smith states that most book conversions (from discoverability to availability, and then of course, to reader purchases/sales) occur because of author branding and/or the book’s topic or message.
In this new publishing world where digital production is an equal giant next to paper production, author branding (sometimes mistaken for an author’s platform) is even more important, because there is unrestricted accessibility to publishing—which means there is the threat of oversaturation of new content, which has already started to happen (hence the “discoverability” buzz word at DBW14). Authors and their publishers are struggling to maintain book discoverability and find new ways to maximize their resources, so there is more reader conversion.
One thing Hildick-Smith makes note of is that there are “three pillars of initial new book sales.” They are:
- Discovery – Wherein the reader needs to know about the existence of the book. This is where marketing (niche marketing, adjacent customer marketing, social media marketing, author branding, etc.) comes in.
- Conversion – Does the book offer anything interesting to the particular reader […]