From ‘vanity press’ to ‘Awesome Indies’… there’s been a revolution in the world of self-publishing – and social networking has voiced the call to arms. Self-published authors have been in the vanguard of marketing books via social media.
The novelist JJ Marsh is also the Swiss representative of the Alliance of Independent Authors. As well as a personal blog, a twitter feed and a Facebook page devoted to her fictional creation Beatrice Stubbs, she also curates The Woolf literary newsletter and contributes to the writer’s collective, Nuance Words.
The novelist and digital world commentator, Nick Harkaway, agrees that some self-published authors can teach the traditional publishing world a thing or two about online marketing.
“(But) the thing to remember is that the overwhelming majority don’t break through. So that’s a bit like saying ‘can unknown runners teach pro runners about running?’. For the most part, no. But if you’re talking about the Tarahumara, then probably yes.”
Not all writers expect to perform super-human feats of viral marketing. And even some of the most traditional of publishers, such as Mills and Boon, now expect their writers to do the running, as novelist and non-fiction writer Kate Harrison explains:
However a novel gets into print, chances are social media will play a role in getting the book sold. In the next blog, I will ask if there’s a right and a wrong way to go about marketing fiction.