Publishing has changed. Printed book sales are decreasing as more people buy digital readers and tablets, and anyone with a laptop and a dream can write a book.
As the publishing landscape evolves, writers need to expand their skill set to succeed. Specifically, they must "own" the marketing and sales introduction of their books, whether they are traditionally published or self-published.
Case in point: Guy Kawasaki recently self-published APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book, with co-author Shawn Welch, in which he explains how to write, self-publish, and sell a book.
"Your activities as any kind of author do not end when your book is published. You should market your book for as long as you want people to buy it," Guy writes in APE.
What used to be done on a whirlwind, multi-city book tour is now done via social media, email, Skype, and Google+ hangout. This modern twist on the book tour is more efficient, but it's ongoing, and also a lot of work!
This is how Guy "guerrilla-marketed" his new book:
- Solicited feedback, editing, and reviews from his four million friends on social networks
- Participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything"
- Participated in a "Tweet Me Anything" (This flash chat's 1,487 tweets generated 111,065,029 impressions, reaching an audience of 2,464,802 followers.)
- Participated in a Google+ Hangout with Jessica Northey
- Moderated a panel at the Churchill Club called "The Future of Publishing," simultaneously broadcast via a Google+ Hangout
- Conducted three interviews per day via telephone and Skype for weeks
- Created an APE Community on Google+ to mentor writers
- Worked his regular social-media followers on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
In short, Guy answered a lot of questions! Some were about him and some about the writing process, but all had the goal of getting the word out about his book. His technique is subtle yet effective. In each interview or event, he allows people to ask any question at all. His open-book style of being interviewed is refreshing and informative.
Years of experience with public speaking and interviews, and years of being in the public eye, definitely give Guy the advantage at this point in his career, but those are all skills that he learned and honed.