Self-publishing: Rice, Corn, & Beans

Retailers like Amazon, blogs, online forums and countless other products of the digital world have introduced over the last decade a unique new element in the way readers find books: less expensive, open source consumer information. No longer are large advertising and marketing dollars spent on a small portion of books targeted at the largest audience possible through traditional brick-and-mortar outlets. At least not on the level of decades past when readers had no choice but to visit these stores to learn about and buy new books. What does this mean for how writers produce books?

To help explain, let’s take a look at the example of the bean farmer, corn farmer, and rice farmer, all three of whom farm all 3 crops to sell at the farmers market. However,

The bean farmer is better at bean farming.
The corn farmer is better at corn farming.
And the wheat farmer better at rice farming.

One day the bean farmer decides to turn his entire field to beans, and in result brings the best beans at a higher volume to the market. This farmer may only be serving those consumers who like beans, and will lose those that prefer corn and rice. But he will accomplish at taking in the whole bean market because his beans are the best.

Are a rice, corn, or bean farmer? In other words, how specific is your audience (the tighter the better) and how pertinent your content? Once this has been identified and the self-publisher search begins, look for one that has marketing services and support to most effectively reach those readers.

– Karl Schroeder

Have fun and keep writing!


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