Comment On The Business Rusch

by J.J.Foxe on September 21, 2012

This week’s post by Kristine Rusch over at her website is a doozy – it will be in my weekly round up tomorrow, but if you can’t wait , here’s the direct link:

Content Is King

The post is about the fact that writers are the content providers – without us, anyone in the publishing industry is well and truly fucked.  The ***ONLY*** way they can generate revenue is by leveraging content.

And we write that content.

Kris’s post is about keeping control of your content and never signing away percentages of it without properly assessing that.

My comment added something from my marketing background to her post, so I’ve reproduced it here in full.  It’s something I’ll be talking about here more in future posts.

So here’s the comment:

1. I ‘ve been writing fiction on and off since I was 12….never had anything published, just coming back into it for lots of reasons. What may be of interest is that I’m coming back to fiction from a background of what’s called content marketing online.


That leads to this:


2. One of the things that you learn pretty early on is you can’t rely on places like Google and so on to send you traffic. (For authors substitute Amazon/Barns & Noble etc to send you sales). So what we do is ensure that we encourage people to sign up to an email newsletter list. And you engage with that list….not spam them.


I see few authors collecting email addresses…I was at a marketing conference once and suddenly the instructor stopped in front of one of the attendees and suddenly shouted: Quick! Your house is on fire. What’s the one thing you take out into the street with you?


The attendee was surprised. But the answer was: The Back Up of your mailing list.


Which led to the lesson: Your Mailing List is your biggest business asset.


This is why Amazon are toasting the Big 6 – they spent time building up not just a mailing list, but a mailing list of buyers. And a mailing list of buyers who were satisfied with – and trusted – their buying process.


IMO you have to have a mailing list. So you can speak to your ‘true fans.’


That leads to…


3) You can sell your content direct from your website. And instead of giving 30% away – or 70% for anything under 2.99 or over 10.00 – this can cost you around 5%.


And it’s easy to set it up – all you need is a paypal account and a service like eJunkie. Which costs a flat fee of $5 a month.


And again – as you iterate in the post – if you can’t do it yourself you can get a techie to set it all up for you. If you’ve got the files ready and you have your own website we’re talking about less than 60 minutes to set up.


So there’s no excuse to be dependent on Amazon.


(Of course there is a trade off – let’s say you have 5000 rabid fans and on the day of a new release they buy directly from you the upside is you get an extra 25% of the purchase price direct to your bank account. The downside is that they don’t buy it on Amazon so their sales/reviews etc don’t contribute to the Amazon ranking algorithm. If your list was big enough – and loyal enough – that’s a trade off that well be worth making.


And if the day ever does come – like the Big 6 fanboys argue – that Amazon starts putting the thumb screws on authors, then if you’ve got a list of loyal buyers those thumb screws will hurt you a whole lot less.


4. Again, this is all about taking control of your content – and also communicating directly with your fans. Emailing them is far more direct – and far more effective – than Facebook or Twitter.


Your Thoughts?

If you’ve any thoughts, questions or comments on this then fire away in the comments!



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