Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Authors and the Internet

One of the big topics in today’s world is the Internet and how it affects books and readers. I know I’ve talked about many of the topics here on Straight From Hel – ebooks, rights of authors whose books are downloaded, virtual book tours, the current writers strike, etc.

Today, book promotion via the Internet is pretty much a must. The old way of reading a book review in the newspaper is disappearing. Now reviews are done on the Internet. Authors often attend book club meetings via phone or Internet cameras. Authors use their website to put up discussion guides for their books. They do podcasts. They produce videos to promote their books like movie trailers. They have MySpace pages, YouTube videos. They participate in live Web events. They host contests on their websites or give away prizes or books on their blog tours. They have blogs of their own.

Publishers are creating space for authors to promote their books on the publisher’s website. Some have dedicated websites for reading groups to have live chats with authors.

Whole websites/Internet companies have been created just to help authors promote their books. Take a look at AuthorBuzz, two years old and already selling out its 10 spots for book club promotions three to four months in advance.

For some of us, this whole concept of Internet promotion is scary, over-whelming. There is so much to learn and know and do. On the other hand, the Internet represents the chance for authors to take the reins into their own hands, to guide their own destinies. We now have so much more control over our publishing lives than we have ever had.

For some, the Internet is scary. For others it’s an adventure full of possibilities. No matter how you look at it, it’s a road we now must take.

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