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Aw shucks

Thursday, August 31, 2006
Thanks, y'all! Looks like the marketing thing hit a nerve so let's talk more about it.

I did an internship at a tiny ad agency for a semester back in college. Best 4 months of work I ever did. If I'd done the career thing, I probably would have gone into marketing/advertising/PR. As it is, I analyze advertising and ignore the product. *gg*

I still think mostly in traditional terms with advertising. Yes, the internet is great, but I'm the only person I know IRL who uses the internet as much as I do or for the same reasons I do. That means that everyone else I know still responds to those traditional advertising venues.

People look at what's in front of them. As I said, the percentage of readers who buy e-books -- compared to the number of readers overall -- is very small. Thankfully, they're a voracious percentage, but wouldn't it be better for readers AND writers if this avenue got broader?

Who am I targeting? Readers. Where can I find them? Libraries (not allowed to put flyers in there, though), UBSs (gotta call them today and find out), book clubs (neighborhood and on base), and writer's groups (there are a lot of writers who've never heard of e-publishing or still equate it with poor quality -- an old stereotype that needs squashing.)

E-publishing got a lot of media coverage a few years ago (2000) when Stephen King released his novella online. It tanked and that was the last anyone really heard of it in the mainstream. So those old perceptions still exist.

But things have changed so much since then, that it's completely unfair to use the same yardstick. That means that it's well past time to put e-publishing back in the public eye.

I'm not saying that my little novella is going to be the springpoint for a new national or global movement. It isn't. But if I can inform a few people about e-books, and they tell their friends, and they tell their friends (it's a Prell commercial around here now) then that's a few dozen more folks who are going to buy -- not just MY books -- but all kinds of other books, as well!

I'm thinking more along the lines of a groundswell here, as opposed to a lightning bolt. The groundswell moves more slowly, but its effects are longer lasting.

Baby steps.

Also, I found this fantastic link to the IDPF, the International Digital Publishing Forum, which tracks global e-book sales. I highly recommend that everyone interested in e-publishing as either a reader or a writer bookmark the site and have a wander through it. You can find their current members as well as industry statistics and the 2005 list of e-book bestsellers.
8/31/2006 08:43:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 12 Comments


A great post and topical at this moment in time too. I wish people would stop worrying about ePublishing, and thinking it's like fan publishing, it ain't. The reputable ePublishers are in it as a busy...to make money. So why pulp out poor quality?

The only problem I still see with a lot of people being hesitent, other than no access to the net, is the cost of buying an ebook, which, in some cases, is still that of a paperback.

Readers are still more likely to buy a paperback which they are then more likely to read several times, as opposed to firing up their laptops to read an ebook.

Personally, I print out copies of the eBooks I've bought so far. I know, printing out a 60,000+ word novel is daunting, but I likew the feel of paper in my hands.

Er...now what was the question again seeing how I've rambled on about everything and nothing. lol!

By Anonymous alexandra, at 10:33 AM  

Dear me...I need to rer-ead my comments before hitting that send button.

Busy? Should be business. I'm the busy one.

By Anonymous alexandra, at 10:35 AM  

My mom printed out the file of my book. I knew she would. It's tough for her to read on the computer and she's never going to be a big enough consumer to buy a dedicated reader.

I don't have an e-reader, either, but I'm thinking of beginning the hunt.

As it is, I prefer reading short stories and novellas on the computer, as opposed to full length novels. It IS tough on the eyeballs!

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 10:44 AM  

Thanks for sharing the link. I will admit that I wasn't too keen on ebooks until I learned more about them and actually bought some, and I still prefer the feel of the paper or hardback in my hands. A lot of people are like I was, not really aware of ebooks (my family and friends are a perfect example). Like you, I hope to make people more aware. My struggle has been...how, since you have to target them outside the internet.

By Blogger Emma_Sanders, at 7:34 AM  

Thanks for your comment, Emma. As you can see, it's tough to target people who aren't already in the loop somehow.

I think even purely online venues are going to have to take better advantage of traditional advertising -- simply because it still works!

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 8:36 AM  

"I still think mostly in traditional terms with advertising. Yes, the internet is great, but I'm the only person I know IRL who uses the internet as much as I do or for the same reasons I do. That means that everyone else I know still responds to those traditional advertising venues."

!!! I know!!! I'm finding the same thing. Crazy, ain't it?

I learned a TON from the comments on The following post from Alison Kent's blog:


And the great detailed answer from Cathy Clamp at RD. (I heart her!)

By Blogger Eva Gale, at 9:31 AM  

Finally, some ball-park statistics.
Thank you.

By Blogger Bernita, at 10:41 AM  

Now that I'm in an area that's basically made up of a bunch of small towns, I'm hoping to "make a splash" as it were at some local libraries.

I know they do lots of programs and such so...it's a prefect opportunity if I can work up the courage to approach them.

That's one of the reasons I epublish - so I don't have to interact with people IRL as much!

By Blogger Emma Sinclair, at 3:40 PM  

Very interesting to see the list of 2005 e-book bestsellers. I wonder how they determine the bestsellers since a lot of people self-publish e-books and they may not disclose how many they have published? I don't know...I'm just thinking out loud.... but still, very interesting! :)

By Blogger magentaink, at 3:43 PM  

I love how you're doing your research!

By Blogger Danica/Dream, at 3:03 AM  

Thanks for that link, Eva! It had some great insight.

Bernita, I was really excited to find the IDPF link. I'd never heard of it before.

Magenta, I think they can only go by the numbers they're given by their members. I don't think self-publishing enters into their figures.

Danica, thanks! I find it a little frustrating, actually. For all that I'm ADD, research is one of the things I like to approach in an organized fashion. And it's just not working out that way! I have to dig for each little bugget of information.

By Blogger Sela Carsen, at 8:06 AM  

I found that UBS's love free postcards and bookmarks to give their customers, so I made some up and every town I go I offer them a few at all the bookstores and I've never had anyone refuse. I think it raises name awareness and that e books exist, I don't know about sales but it can only help.

By Blogger Nell Dixon, at 4:16 AM  

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