Carol Vorvain (@writersboon) is an Australian international lawyer, mediator, author and founder of Writers Boon. Her books, When Dreams are Calling, Why not? - The island where happiness starts with a question and A Fool in Istanbul - The adventures of a self-denying workaholic have been featured in a number of travel magazines including the International Traveller magazine and can be found in libraries, bookstores and on Amazon.
We’ve just returned from one of the most influential publishing conference in the United States - Digital Book World 2018. Amazon was one of the event’s main sponsors and it was a fantastic conference for everyone involved in the publishing business.
We met wonderful people, like Jess Johns from Ingram, Bethany Marshall from Morgan James Publishing, indie author Sterling Emmal and of course, we met with David Hill, our lucky Writers Boon member who won a $1500 free pass.
We were thrilled and proud to be amongst those exhibitors who are doing brilliant things to help authors.
Before going into the nitty-gritty of the event, let us first say a big thank you to the Berlin-based agency Shotshop. Shotshop offers budget photography, high quality images and individual customer support. Their business model is simple: you buy single images, without credits or subscription payment and without further commitments. All images are royalty free, that is the price is based upon the file size. You choose your image, pay and download it instantly. We used Shotshop to create the Writers Boon promotional material for the conference. We love them and we’re sure you will too!
Hottest tech trends and best practices for modern-day publishing.
1. Audio continues to be the fastest growing segment in publishing
Findaway Voices is a platform that lets authors to set their audiobook prices and sell direct. Whether you want to create or distribute audiobooks, Findaway Voices is one option to consider. They distribute to Apple, Google, and other large markets. They now have the free Authors Direct app to help you sell your audiobook directly and, unlike Audible, you set your own list price and all the metadata.
2. Kobo + Walmart
Michael Tamblyn from Kobo talked about the integration with Walmart, which now includes digital gift cards next to audiobooks.
He mentioned the new Kobo Forma device, the largest and lightest 8” display eReader.
And, let’s not forget the Walmart eBooks which includes an audiobook subscription service where a customer pays $9.99 in exchange for one audiobook per month.
3. Self-publishing means opening a business
As an indie author, you can’t just pray for a rave review and next day, it will land in your lap.
As an indie, you should take advantage of every book promo opportunity and you should spend your money wisely. Find here a few tips and tricks on how to save some money in your publishing journey.
Find the experts you need and pay 15-50% less on their services on Writers Boon - the only deals and discount marketplace for writers.
4. Use tools and apps to write, publish and market your book on social media
Tools and apps save you time and money. There have been many questions about which app to use for writing, editing, cover design, create infographics, follow authors on social media, identify the most popular hashtags, email list building and so on.
To begin creating a social media strategy for your own book, Jess Johns from Ingram recommended using Followerwonk. Another recommended tool at DBW was Hashtagify, which helps users identify the most popular hashtags in their niche and analyze what their competitors are doing on social media.
You don’t like them, no worries, there are many others that help you with this task. You can find all the tools you need well-organized on topics of interest on Writers Boon.
5. Write in a genre that people read and read voraciously
3 out of 4 the ebooks sold are romance. Yes, that’s right. We are all romantic at heart and we love to read romance stories.The good news: poetry is on the rise again.
6. Think globally
There are growing English-speaking markets all over the world.
Don’t forget Ireland and don’t forget Africa and India. In all these places, English is the common language.
Many distributors can help you publish your ebook in hundreds of stores worldwide. One of them is OverDrive. Check for more under the Writers Boon topic, Book Distributors.
7. Incorporating audio technology in publishing
A particularly hot topic at Digital Book World was the use of voice recognition technology in publishing.
Now readers can ask Alexa, Google Assistant about an author’s book, listen to an excerpt, and then purchase the book in seconds.
We watched Andrew Wamberg from Google Cloud do exactly this in about 15 seconds flat. “Your order will be delivered tomorrow,” promised the virtual assistant while we were all laughing.
It’s also an opportunity for creative authors to start thinking of a personalized concierge experience for their readers, such as the Stephen King Library skill, which asks users a set of questions and then recommends relevant King titles based on the answers provided.
Keep in mind that certain writing techniques work better than others when read in an automated voice. Dialogue, for example, can fall flat when read by Alexa or Siri. Humor can also prove difficult.
Till next time, happy writing! And, don’t forget, each month on Writers Boon Treasure Chest you can find free book marketing opportunities. So, go, look for them and take them!