Care and Feeding of Authors

Traditionally, publishing houses were the ones to discover and nurture notable authors. With the shift to indie publishing, the responsibility falls upon the reader themselves. Isn’t it cool? You have the power!

“After conducting more than 250,000 interviews about reading behavior since 2004, Codex has found that a major shift has taken place in discovery in the past two years, as digital books have become a significant part of the book world. 

Two years ago, 35% of book purchases were made because readers found out about a book in bricks-and-mortar bookstores, the single-largest site of discovery. This year, that figure has dropped to 17%, a reflection both of the closing of Borders and the rise of e-readers. In the same period, personal recommendations grew the most, to 22% from 14%. Some three-quarters of personal recommendations are made in person, while the rest come by e-mail (8%), phone (7%), Facebook (4%) and other social networks (3%).”

~Peter Hildick-Smith
Lost and Found: Trends in Book Discovery (October 9, 2012)

This on-going engagement with readers becomes more important to authors every day. And in addition to people you know recommending books, there are social cataloging sites (Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, Shelfari) and sites that recommend books according to your personal criteria (The Fussy LibrarianWhat Should I Read Next, Which Book, Book Hitch, Gnooks).

“[COO of Enders Analysis] Douglass McCabe’s statistics show that only a piddling 10 percent of Amazon book choices are made because of its ‘bought this/also bought’ recommendation engine. Bestseller and top 100 lists influence 17 percent of book choices, with 12 percent down to promotions, deals, or low prices. Only 3 percent came through browsing categories. Planned search by author or topic, however, makes up a whopping 48 percent of all book choices.”

~Suw Charman-Anderson
Half of Amazon Book Sales are Planned Purchases 

I have my own “Best Of” list, consisting of primarily fantasy books, if you want to see what I recommend: Flinch-Free Fantasy.

Authors would be nothing without you, the reader. Do you want to know what you can do to help you favorite authors? Here are a few ideas:

We authors appreciate everything you do. Please feel free to share this graphic. Sending chocolate is nice, too.

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