After a terrible week in Boston (which I will write about at some point, but right now it is too soon) I was glad for the distraction of an event for Sisters in Crime New England on Sunday. Kristen McLean of Bookigee was our guest speaker, and she did a workshop about the empowered author. Though there are challenges for today’s author, and the publishing world is topsy turvy, Kristen talked about the opportunities.
Per Kristen, there are two trends to pay attention to right now. First, that there a number of new routes for content. While traditional publishers are still the top of the pyramid, they aren’t the only pyramid. There is self publishing and small presses. Additionally, she pointed us to Wattpad and createspace as new models for content distribution. I am still wrapping my brain around Wattpad–it deserves its own blog entry.
The other trend she talked about was the rise of the empowered authors. Hybrid authors (both traditionally and non-traditionally published) are entrepreneurs in the field. Statistically, these authors are likely to earn more, and to be using social media (on Facebook. blogging, or on Twitter). These hybrid careers are much more fluid, and able to adjust to the author’s strengths.
Part of being an empowered author is to understand the business, and do your research. Are you self publishing? Go on Goodreads, look at the covers of books like yours, and take that into consideration when considering cover art. Why does that matter? Titles with cover art sell 268% more books.
Do you know what metadata is? It is 31 pieces of data that is attached to your book. Titles with complete metadata sell 98%5 more titles. And the “read inside” option on Amazon? Enabling that has a huge impact on sales.
Kristen and her partners run Bookigee, and are also building apps and platforms to help empower authors. Bookigee was created to “not out to take over the publishing industry—we’re out to reinvent it, and to help everyone embrace the opportunities of the digital age.” Here is a link to one of her articles. “The Author as Entrepreneur: the new model for success“. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but the future is ours, and what we make of it.
Here’s to being empowered.