When I first started trying to understand the tumult taking place in the publishing and self-publishing industries, one of the sites I ran across was a blog called A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. Written by author Joe Konrath, the site provides useful commentary on the transitions taking place in publishing, and how writers may profit from these changes. In the past I referenced several of Joe’s posts here and here, but today I want to encourage you to take both a closer look at the Newbie blog and a broader look at the JAKonrath.com empire.
If your writing platform equals your celebrity (and it does), there’s still the nagging question of how you become celebrated. Various authors have reversed the process entirely, building up a persona first, then capitalizing on it by writing a book, but that’s not what most authors are going to do. For most authors the question is more mundane: how do I let the world know where I am?
Part of the answer today is undoubtedly technological. Whether you choose to have a blog or a web site or both or more, that’s going to be part of your solution. It’s certainly a big part of what Joe is doing — as one click here will demonstrate — and that’s another reason to keep track of both the site and the blog. Someone is actually doing the stuff you may decide that you want to do, and they’re giving you a chance to learn by their example.
If you’d prefer a more hands-on approach to marketing, Joe’s also been down that road:
I was the guy who sent out 7000 letters to libraries, who visited over 2000 bookstores, who blog toured over 100 sites in a single month, who gathered 10,000+ names for his newsletter, who talked about social networking before anyone knew what Facebook was.
I think all of this has had a positive effect on my career. I’ve made some money. I’m still selling books.
I’m not advocating that you do any or all of that — I certainly won’t be — but that’s not the point. The point is that Joe Konrath doesn’t seem to be kidding around as an independent author, and there aren’t a lot of people you can say that about.
– Mark Barrett