Since time immemorial (well, since the invention of printing) the production and distribution of books has been in the hands of specialists, the people who see to the editing, printing, publishing, and distribution of books. Each of those activities requires specialized knowledge and expertise, and so for hundreds of years the world of publishing remained in the hands of an elite band of cognoscenti, the professional publishing industry.
Then, in the wake of the internet revolution, Amazon burst on the world, bringing with it a radically new approach to the production and selling of books. Thus, it is no longer only a privileged few authors who manage to get accepted by an established publisher. Today anyone can publish his or her own book and put it up on the internet for sale, both as a physical book and as an ebook.
However, while it is relatively easy (for some people) to write a book, and not all that difficult to self-publish it, getting it into the public eye and accessible to the vast potential market that Amazon represents is quite another matter.
That is where a new sphere of specialization, book-promotion, comes into the picture. I was fortunate enough to be in touch with the company run by Benny and Tali Carmi, ebook-pro, which specializes in just that area.
I have heard of many cases of writers whose books have been accepted by recognized publishers but have not been given public exposure, and hence have not managed to sell. In fact, this happened to me with my first book, ‘The Balancing Game,’ which I published with the help of an American publisher. Both the physical book and the ebook were good products (in my opinion), but because there was no publicity campaign, sales were weak.
These days, the way a book is promoted focuses on getting a good ranking for a book on one or more of the various categories in which Amazon lists its books. This involves obtaining reviews, making the book available for free on various sites, and undertaking a series of actions which expose the book to the vast Amazon reading public. Thus, to my delight and surprise, after Benny’s campaign to promote my book ‘Time Out of Joint, the Fate of a Family,’ it was Amazon’s no.1 best-seller in three categories for a while.
After the initial campaign, which creates an internet buzz and gives the book an initial boost, sales are ‘in the hands of the public,’ to quote Benny. A month after my book was first launched on the internet sales seem to have settled at a fairly steady rate, and if this continues for some time I for one will be very happy.