And so when I was presented with the opportunity to offer my readers one of Fauzia's articles that was a smash hit on The Huffington Post, I was thrilled and honored to be able to share it with you today. This article was so well received when it originally debuted, that it wound up on the front page of The Huffington Post for a few days. Amazing! Now here it is on my little blog! Just as we are part of the blogging community I mentioned, this article is also about a community. It emphasizes that publishing companies need to change their marketing strategy to reach a new era of readers who are well informed looking to connect. See if you don't agree and probably find yourself in part of this article! So with that, I am pleased to share Fauzia Burke's fascinating article entitled I'll Take a Community With That Book, Please!
By Fauzia Burke
Today's readers are tech savvy and resourceful. They know how to get the information they need and have higher expectations from publishers and authors. They don't just expect a book, they expect a community with their book.
I often hear publishers say that there are "very few brands in book publishing." But to thrive in today's competitive, niche markets, perhaps brands are exactly what we need. What readers choose to read is personal and an extension of who they are. Shouldn't their book choices be supported by a publisher, a brand that is invested in their interests?
Many small publishing companies have done an enviable job of branding themselves and building reader communities around their books. Take O'Reilly, TOR and Hay House. You may not read their books, but you know what they publish. Their communities trust them. People who share their point-of-view flock to their lists. These companies publish for a niche community, and are trusted members of their community. They provide extra resources, and often their authors are members of the community itself. TOR has even launched a bookstore to meet their readers' needs. These publishers show passion for their books and an understanding of their readers, and as such their readers reward them with loyalty.
Publishing books for the community
So are large, general publishers at a disadvantage with today's search-empowered, community oriented readers? I think so. General trade publishing is for everyone, yet there is no "everyone" out there. Readers are part of micro communities. They want good books, and they need publishers who will support their interests and passions.
The bottom line is that publishers and authors need to evolve their marketing and publishing strategies to accommodate for a new kind of reader. A reader whose expectations demand more interaction and community. A reader whose loyalty you can have once you have earned it. A reader who wants more than a 6 week marketing campaign so you can sell a book. This new reader requires an investment of months and years.
Is that too much to expect? Perhaps. But this is your new reader, and she will stay with you if you stay with her.
Stay tuned for Web marketing tips in future weeks, or follow FSB on Twitter to see our results in real time: http://twitter.com/
©2009 Fauzia Burke
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