The inspiring creator of Smashwords, Mark Coker, has (freely) published a veritable manifesto of predictions for the publishing industry in 2013. This sets the tone for his article:
“Books are worth fighting for, so fight for the future you want. Otherwise, someone else may determine your future for you.”
Sporadically located across the world, thousands of writers, readers, self-publishers and small publishers find their inner voice chanting back … yeah!
All in all Coker makes a whopping 21 predictions, far more he admits than he originally intended to provide. “Skim the headlines then read what grabs you.” he suggests. OK Mark, this is the one that stands out most to me:
7. Passive discoverability trumps other book marketing methods
I am reminded of a quote by James Scott Bell in ‘Self Publishing Attack!’, that “Only 20% of marketing works and we don’t know which 20%.”
This is oh so true and if a marketer or book coach tells you that they have a sure-fire success method, apply a truck load of salt.
Passive discoverability is all about setting your book, your brand and your author profile up to be accessible to your potential readers. To do this you need to use the internet wisely and get yourself to the point where if someone is looking for a good read in your genre, or information on your non-fiction topic, they have a great chance of coming across your work.
There are so many ways to make this happen and it is a case of trial and error to find what works for your genre or topic. For example, I have found that the type of response from bloggers on parenting topics (and whether they are willing to cross-promote and share) is completely different than aged care sites and bloggers.
Ways to make an author and their books passively discoverable are to use:
keywords in blogging
keep and eye on buzz topics and see how you can inject yourself into a media discussion as an author/expert
clever use of social media
link sharing sites like Reddit
Now Mark Coker is saying that passive discoverability will trump other marketing methods. I absolutely agree. As a small publisher I acknowledge that it’s just not smart anymore to have a list of marketing tasks for each title and author, go down the list, tick them all off, and then expect the book to get noticed. No. The job is to get the book noticed by the potential readers, not by just anyone because there are too many “anyones out there”.
Targeted, viral, relevant and engaging placement of the author and their book/s as a product, is the key to passive discoverability.