In all corners of the world, people are re-inventing the book business, they're trying to find new ways of making money with books. I've collected a few of the interesting ideas I've come across and thought I'd share.
1. Melinda Blau is co-author of the book Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don't Seem to Matter...But Really Do. In an interesting marketing ploy, she has asked her Facebook friends and other fans to go into bookstores where her book is being sold and take a picture with her book. Then they should send the photo to her and she will post a collage on her website. I'm not sure if this will necessarily sell more books, but it will definitely generate a bit of hype.
2. To add money to publishers' and writers' pockets, most American publishers have set up speaker bureaus. Festivals, universities or other institutions or events which might need a particular author for speaking now have the process streamlined. Authors can earn between $5000 and $20,000 per engagement with the money divided between the publisher and the author.
3. The self publishing business is booming. Many authors, especially those with an established platform around non-fiction books find self publishing highly effective. Their marketing strategy is already in place either through speaking engagements or websites. 80,000 self published titles in one year? Wow! Read this interesting and informative post from self published author Enid Wilson about easy ways to make polished looking covers for your self published book.
4. Though this idea came from someone who was trying to rip authors off, if you do it yourself it is an excellent way to market your book- make postage stamps with the cover of your book as the design. Here's a website where you can buy the stamps.
5. Ebooks are the new wave. The internet is a fantastic way to sell ebooks and we all have access (at least if we are here). Setting up an ebook is also not that difficult. Check it out here. For African authors published in Africa who want their books read overseas, ebooks are proving the only way to compete price-wise. We need to get on the boat- it's sailing already. Here is a new start-up for African writers wanting to sell ebooks in the United States. It's called Little WhiteBakkie.
What interesting book-y ideas have you heard about recently? I'd love to hear about them.