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Attention Bloggers: I’ve seen the future, and you’re missing it.
Oh sure, we bloggers think we’re the most up-to-date, leading-edge, tech-savvy people on the planet.
But one of the biggest changes in the long history of content creation is taking place right under your feet, and I’m afraid it may be passing you by.
Yep, the ground is shifting, fortunes are being made, and some of the people who could best profit from this tectonic shift — content producers — are mostly sitting on the sidelines.
Okay, what am I talking about? The revolution in book publishing …
Maybe you’ve heard some of the success stories of the authors who’ve been selling a ton of paranormal romances, thrillers or other genre novels on Amazon’s Kindle platform, but that’s notwhat I’m talking about.
You may have also heard about big-time authors like Barry Eisler, Steven King, Seth Godin and others leading the way in self-publishing. That’s not it either.
What I’m talking about is something bloggers are already expert in: niche publishing.
Bloggers vs. authors
Let’s back up for a minute. Have you ever thought about the similarities between self-publishing and blogging? Probably not, why would you?
But as a blogger who writes about indie book publishing, I think about this stuff all the time. And here’s what I see at this amazing moment in publishing:
Self-publishers and bloggers each have only half the equation for success in the new world of book publishing.
Take authors for example. Most are really good at things like producing long content (long as in 80,000 words), staying with a project for months or years without losing focus, and planning a complex project using freelance contractors.
The problem is, many authors are notorious loners, are often non-technical, they can go years without any contact with their readers, and their mindset may be completely rooted in the 19th century. Not only that, the typical author has no idea of what marketing actually means in the real world.
That might make a blogger feel pretty good about herself.
It’s true that bloggers stay in constant touch with their readers, know how to publish on a schedule, get constant feedback from readers, love to experiment via agile content, and are highly networked with other bloggers in their niche.
But niche market bloggers have obstacles to overcome, too.
They can fall into the trap of thinking 500 words at a time, with disjointed subjects littering their archives. After blogging for a while, they may lose sight of any overarching theme they started with.
Not only that, many bloggers treat their blogs as a “hobby”, or they’re focused on Adsense, affiliate sales and special promotions. Bloggers like to chase the “shiny new object,” fall into the social media time-sink very easily, and all too often rely exclusively on metrics as the measure of their success.
Why book publishing makes sense for bloggers
Here’s what you’ve been missing: you don’t have to be Amanda Hocking or Joe Konrath or John Locke (all of whom have sold a ton of ebook fiction) to get major, potentially life-changing results from book publishing.
This is the dirty little secret behind self-publishing that we’ve been hiding from the big publishers for years:
If you’re a writer with ready access to a niche audience, you’re probably much better off financially publishing your own book.
If you blog on a niche topic and know how to reach the people in that field, why give 85% of your profits to a big publisher in New York?
(If you’re Chris Brogan or Tim Ferriss writing for a mass consumer or mass business market, youmight be better off with that big publisher. But if that’s not you, read on.)