A report from Author (R)evolution Day
If you’ve spent as much time reading author blogs as I have, you may have noticed a disturbing pattern. In nearly every “here’s how I did it” post in which the author explains her route to greater visibility and sales, there comes a point when something happens that the author did not plan for or expect, that puts her over the top.
I call this the Black Box Effect: the degree to which authors are still mostly in the dark about what makes their book marketing and platform-building efforts succeed. For authors to take full advantage of this incredible time in publishing we need to reduce that effect, which means we need better data, and better tools to help capture and measure the data that already exists. So I went to Author (R)evolution Day last week to see how far along we are in chipping away at the edges of that black box.
Authors need to realize they won't beat the odds if they don’t innovate
Last month I attended a Future of Publishing event in Silicon Valley, where Steve Piersanti, President of Berrett-Koehler, was on a panel that also included Barry Eisler, Dane Neller, Clark Kepler, and Guy Kawasaki. As the audience enjoyed a delicious meal before the event, we had a chance to look over the evening’s handout, Piersanti’s 10 Awful Truths About Book Publishing. I can’t imagine reading this helped anyone’s digestion.
Why it's both an exciting and confusing time to be an author
When I first heard the publishing industry referred to as an ecosystem I immediately wanted to see a map of it on the wall. How does water cycle through the system? Which communities are currently well-placed, and where are the likely spots for new ones to grow?