The Metamorphosis of Publishing

- By Hajni Blasko and >Marion Elizabet

In the older years of publishing, 'Scarcity' was the key word of the industry. Literary Agents and Publicists scouted new talents and being picked by a house was the measure of success. However, literary agents, as we knew them, are becoming creatures of the past; very few generally affordable agencies remain. An alternative to traditional publishing, indie publishing, is gaining popularity in leaps and bounds due to its much greater accessibility. This year, the number of non-traditional, print-on-demand books - ie. indie titles - surpasses conventionally published titles. In fact, nearly 87% of all published titles in 2010 were put out by non-traditional POD publishers.*

These days, the model of publishing has changed from one of scarcity to one of abundance, leading to an increased struggle for attention among authors in print and online. From 150 000 new publications per annum in recent years, the number of new ISBNs this year is expected to jump to 15 000 000.** Given the dwindling supply of professional representatives for writers, it's the authors themselves who must grab the attention of their audiences and do it directly. That shouldn't be too difficult, should it? You set-up a free facebook page and a free blog for your book and sit back waiting for the sales to roll in, right? Not quite. With the staggering number of indie titles published last year, not to mention the numbers to come in the near future, your attention grabbing activities have a lot in common with millions of other authors. Posting cute kitty photos is no longer effective unless the cat is the author. I have also noticed that social networks are becoming less and less effective in reaching readers. We are all guilty of having a few hundred or thousand facebook friendships with other authors but these networks rarely reach out to book buyers in a significant manner. Can you imagine a very near future in which every indie author is connected with every other, with each one talking up a storm about his or her own title but no one reaching out to actual readers? I can.

Just as in real life, the key to a successful online presence is having something to say that will earn people's attention. With so many writers vying for the spotlight, the quality of an author's brand - website, blog, interviews, and yes, in-person speaking engagements - is more than ever the key to success. Taking the time to compose a well considered article or sharing a diverting snippet of data related to your story will do infinitely more to attract and keep a reading audience than a generic link to your Amazon listings. So be generous. Put the same kind of love and attention into your website updates and twitter feed as you did into your manuscript, and keep giving your readers a reason to come back for more. Cast a wide net. Having created an engaging brand that reflects your voice and your writing, take steps to make your title visible to anyone interested in your subject matter and attract readers who may never have seen your name but want to read books of your genre. This is where we can help: by optimizing your title's listing with content that makes it show up on organic searches for genre, and brings more readers in touch with your brand.

Keeping in stride with the industry's boom and helping new titles, Substance Books will be phasing in various features allowing easier an even more direct contact between represented authors and their readers. To facilitate the boom of the industry and help titles with a burst of online exposure, we will be offering a new campaign designed to give a branding boost to any title in need. Take a look at the complete list of campaign options right here: Online Publicity Campaigns
Want to make your books more visible? Find out how Substance Books can help your title!

Questions? online book marketing questions   |   We are here to help. online book marketing questions   |   Follow us on social networking for authors   |    Friend us on social marketing of authors

* Bowker "Print isn't dead, says Bowker’s Annual Book Production Report"
** "Seth Godin on Q" Narrated by Jian Ghomeshi, Q, CBC, April 3, 2012,

Related articles: Options for Self-Publishing Proliferate, Easing the Bar to Entry
Montreal Canadian Book Publicist, Hajni Blasko
Montreal Canadian Book Publicist, Hajni Blasko   email Book Publicist, Hajni Blasko   network with Montreal Canadian Book Publicist, Hajni Blasko   network with Montreal Canadian Book Publicist, Hajni Blasko
Online Book Publicist
& SEO Specialist

Hajni has conducted workshops at BookExpo America, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 on Search Engine Optimization and Online Book Publicity. She wrote a number of articles for various newsletters, blogs and publications.
Online articles:
WOW, WOW, WOW! Major confusion about facebook profile pages and facebook product pages!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Usability Tips for Authors Looking to Sell
How Social Networking Can Hurt your Book Sales
Book Trade Show Tips
Graphic Design Tips for your Website
Articles in print:
Webrings - Book Beyond the Bookstores
Custom-Designed Websites vs. Websites Created on Social Networking Platforms - Writer Watchdog, 2009.
If you are an authors or small press publisher looking for online exposure, don't hesitate to email her or to fill out the form on the right.

Montreal Canadian Editor & Marketing & Literary Scout
I am a freelance graphic designer and professional artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Diploma of Graphic Applications in Desktop Publishing. Before Substance Books, I worked as a publisher, responsible for manuscript selection and editing as well as galley and cover design. In this capacity I also arranged for book distribution and sales relations.

When I'm not checking out new titles, I can often be found painting, hunting for great creative websites and cooking up a storm for family and friends.
Marion Elizabet - Editor

"Hajni is very knowledgeable in her field. Give her a job and it is done right away.”." David Andrew Crawford: Dark Solus

"Substance Books is the first place an author should put his/her publicity money. It will be well spent. Great bang for the buck." D H Brown: Honor Due, Honor Defended

"Thanks so much for not only my book's publicity, but for your advice as well. It is so nice that there are people out there one can still trust, and rely on." A. Alex Come': Killing Blue Eyes