Ha! That readers really just want you to get out of their way so they can read. That they are appreciative, generous with time, and once they’ve devoured your book they want to know when the next one is.
Another valuable lesson is that the reviews, on Amazon for example, are…strange. I received two negative reviews for very different reasons: one, because in the opinion of the reviewer I had placed a city sign in the wrong place, the other, because the reviewer felt the book was not “uplifting.” In fact, the book isn’t uplifting, and wasn’t intended to be–it was actually meant to be rather disturbing.
There’s a very good reason publishers traditionally have been bad at interacting with consumers–consumers can be unpredictable. And unpredictability is terrifying.
Kristen McLean is the founder and CEO of Bookigee, a Miami-based tech startup that produces software, events, reports and more for the book-publishing ecosystem. These projects include WriterCube, a tool that uses visual analytics to help authors understand their audience, and WriterCube Book Marketing Database. McLean is an eighteen-year veteran of the book business with experience in retail, marketing and consumer research. Follow her on Twitter @BKGKristen.
Q: You have long advocated for D2C relationships. What do you see as the primary advantages of pursuing this model?
I can’t see any way forward for publishers without a viable direct-to-consumer solution in a marketplace where the retail partners do not share fundamental business data with publishers.
In a direct-to-consumer world–which to my mind means that publishers have open access not only to the communication channel, but the sales channel–it’s possible to get feedback, and to respond to opportunities in real time. Not only can you tell your customers what products are available, but you can track behavior and create offers that trigger positive buying and engagement behaviors.