January 30, 2024
A new year has begun, and authors around the world are planning out what 2024 is going to look like. Or, at least we should be planning. It’s January, it’s cold, and some of us are still recovering from New Year’s. We’re all trying our best out here.
Sometimes it feels like the indie publishing world moves so fast that none of us really know what is coming next. The only constant is change, and things always seem to change in the same two ways: gradually, and then suddenly.
Here at BookFunnel we’ve had a front-row seat to the gradual and now sudden shift in indie publishing over the last few years.
Have you heard of it? It’s a beast which goes by many names and many faces. And, while it sounds intimidating and time consuming (or like yet ANOTHER task tacked on to an indie’s never ending to-do list), selling direct really just comes down to this: owning the relationship with your readers.
Which is the most critical piece of your author future. Why? Because, without it, someone else ultimately controls your author career. If you can’t reach your readers directly, you’re always one email, or one algorithm change, or one billionaire’s whim away from losing your livelihood.
No matter where you are in your author journey, you should be working to build strong relationships with your readers. That’s how you sustain a lasting career as an artist. And, yes, this totally ties into direct sales!
While there are many paths up the mountain, direct sales is not about reaching the tippy top. Direct sales is about owning the whole mountain.
The Four Pillars of Selling Direct
And, we know, direct sales sounds scary. It sounds like a lot of work. And, while it can be, it doesn’t have to be.
When most authors hear “direct sales”, they only think of one thing: building your own bookstore. Your own little corner of the internet where you can sell all of your ebooks, audiobooks, and paperbacks all on your own.
And, that might be your ultimate goal, which is great! But, maybe we should start with some baby steps. Which is what this series is going to walk through.
In this blog series, we’re going to talk about what we call the four pillars of selling direct.
- Pre-selling direct
- Special offers direct
- Subscription sales
- Building your own bookstore
The Future of Publishing
Publishing was, for a very long time, about the gatekeepers that decided who could and could not put books in front of readers. Then, the internet, ebooks, and smartphones came along and blew that whole thing wide open. But, we still had to adhere to the rules of the platforms that sold and delivered the goods. Most readers still go to just one place to buy their books.
But, the future of publishing looks very different from where we’re sitting. Like the proverbial frog in a boiling pot, readers are getting more and more used to buying directly from the authors they love.
How is publishing going to change over the next ten years? Just like the shift in publishing from “The Big 6” having all of the power, to “The Big 5” having some of the power, and now to indies having the power: gradually, and then suddenly.
We’re diving deep with this blog series, so stay tuned.