To Kindle or not to Kindle

(Hi everyone, it’s Jeff. John is taking a blog break this week to celebrate the winding down of his revisions to his book Dodging and Burning. )

The other day John finished his last revision of his novel Dodging and Burning and has thus removed his ‘revision’ hat and must don his ‘marketing’ hat again. We’ve been waiting for this moment and we can now focus again on some marketing ideas while John finds an agent.

Because we are heading back to the marketing grind, John and I have had many conversations about the publishing industry and the economy and the impact that has on new writers getting their books out there. One game changer is the Kindle and e-book craze. Is a book still what a book was years ago?  Now, people are downloading books to read.

This past holiday season e-readers flooded the marketplace and the number of Kindle downloads surpassed the number of books purchased at Amazon. Barnes and Noble tried to get into the game with their Nook (which makes me think of Charles and Rebecca’s cute pooch of the same name…) but did not make it in time.

I would think that publishers are really keeping their eye on the e-book phenomena and must rethink their own marketing strategies. One thing I didn’t mention about the number of Amazon downloads is that many are priced well below the standard $9.99 Kindle price-point, and are FREE. Yep, Free.

You really can’t get rich off of ‘free.’

Is there a new viral approach to publishing that needs to be explored? Does a writer still need an agent and a publisher and all the hoops that must be jumped through to get a book out to readers?  How can the Kindle effect benefit the industry instead of kill it?

Offhandedly, I mentioned to John that he could publish his novel on the Kindle himself. I suppose this goes the route of ‘self-publishing’ and is something that John isn’t interested in, but as a means to find a publisher, it could be helpful. Much like a blog and website, having your e-book out there will generate more interest and more potential buyers.

Combined with a very active online marketing campaign and a book that is available, it would be possible to get some real traction and some data to support other offline efforts. Wouldn’t a publisher be thrilled to know that the book they are considering is already a ‘hit’ online and that it’s readership can venture off the grid?

This past summer John and I discovered a musician that had created a free downloadable playlist of his songs. He didn’t have a record label but had some music that he wanted to promote. His ‘cd’ became a favorite of ours, and he has since removed the free songs because he got a record deal. All in the power of FREE.

I think every writer should be considering all angles to get published. With the current craze of the Kindle, we must start thinking of how it can be used as a marketing tool.

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3 Comments

Filed under Marketing You and Your Work

3 responses to “To Kindle or not to Kindle

  1. Debbi Hamrick

    jeff,
    i agree, i think kindle and different variations, are here to stay and will continue to become the way to read books. i personally will probably never buy “books” again, and i noticed that kindle will introduce an author that has been out there, and will have 1-3 of their books initially for free, then as people start getting them, sometimes after a couple of days, will then start charging for the same book. and keeps adding more from that author, now at a cost. i really have not had any trouble finding every author i personally like, and it just keeps growing. i think kindle is the only e-book that comes with it’s own wireless, the other ones you have to plug into a computer to download. anyway, i’m really looking forward to john’s next book!!!

  2. Pingback: More kindling for the fire « Talking the Walk

  3. amy

    Great article Jeff! I didn’t know that kindle purchases outnumbered those of actual books purchased. You two have lots of decisions to make. I know you guys will do great! Best of Luck John.

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