If you won’t have blog, don’t bother sending us your manuscript – now add Twitter and eCommerce

After analysing the ebook performance of our authors so far this year, we’re revising our position. 

We got a bit of flack earlier this year for our article about blogs, and I’m sorry but some of you you are going to like this even less. As of this summer, unless an author will have a blog, twitter account and fully fledged eCommerce site, we won’t be considering their manuscript. Why?

Well, it’s simple risk management for us in a very fast changing and risky industry. If we look at our authors that have blogs they sell more books. The ones that provide content for Twitter - sell more books . The ones that are active on Facebook – sell more books. See a pattern here? Yes, of course we have one or two inactive authors whose books are so good they sell well anyway, but that’s less than one in ten – and how on earth do you tell that up front…..

In practice this is how it is working for MX Publishing. Let’s take our new Holmes authors. Many of them are professors, journalists, historians, many with plenty of time and enthusiasm – and critically access to interesting content. We are now making all these tools mandatory, but only in the provision of content. If the author hasn’t the skills or knowledge to set up a blog (most of them give it a good try) we’ll do it for them. Likewise with Twitter – we’re supporting our authors with over 50 Twitter accounts now, and it accounts for more than 25% of our traffic.

In the same way as the large publishers have identified that the consumer wants to interact with the author, the natural next step is to enable the consumer to buy direct from an author microsite. So over the summer we will be building eCommerce sites for each author (starting with those with multiple books). With a start to finish build time of under an hour, and the flexibility to launch whichever currency we like, we will build US sites for our US based authors, UK sites for UK etc.This isn't a blog with a 'buy' button, but a fully fledged catalogue (CMS) eCommerce site, critically PCI DSS Level 1 compliant [the highest security level for the payment card industry] - all linked electronically back to our fulfilllment house(s).

We’re convinced it will really let our social-media active authors really shine.

So, if you won't play blog, twitter, Facebook, and eCommerce then try another publisher.

Comments

Working Together

Thanks Paul - you can get me on steve@mxpublishing.co.uk.

Firsty Author Package provides all this

Firstygroup's picture

 

Agree with  steveemecz views on the tools authors need, which is why, last April, we launched the Firsty Author Package, which has all an author needs - social media tools (including blog splace, Twitter, Facebook links), website, easy eBook conversion procedure, uploading to eRetailers, etc. For more on what Firsty offers authors, see:

 

Self-publishing becomes respectable...     http://www.futurebook.net/blog/644

 

But you charge the authors for this right ??

AUK's picture

Hi Firstygroup

As per my comments on your other blog / post, why would an author want to pay for what you do, when others are doing it for free ? I am not trying to flame you, or even promote what we do, I am asking you a simple question.

Reading Steves blog entry, they work with their authors to get the social media parts done and also web sales. Exposure can equal more sales.

As per my other comment on both blog entries, we do not charge anything at all for our publishing partnerships, and rather than placing the book on a limited distribution list, we do place titles globally on hundreds of outlets.Wide distribution often means more sales.

As above I am not trying to flame you, but I think people have the right to know what they are getting for their money from you when they can get it all for free from other outlets?

 

Hmm

Gerald Hornsby's picture

So, your authors write the books, blog about them, market them via Twitter and Facebook, and even sell them from their own sites.

My, the times they are a'changin'.

Not really....

steveemecz's picture

There are 40+ distinct steps in our publishing process and all we need from the authors is the content - we do the Twitter, Facebook, eCommerce for them - it just needs to appear more personal to the consumer that's all. When we send out a Tweet as MX Publishing, we get 'x' response, when it's sent out in the name of the author the response is '3x' or '5x'. What we've noticed is that some authors won't provide that extra rich content, and in the fields we are in means we can't market them effectively. Perhaps its stronger in our genres - Sherlock Holmes and Training, Coaching and NLP. Both fields in which the consumer wants to read books from 'experts' in their field.

Nice advert, but you may have missed the point

steveemecz's picture

Thanks AUK, but I think you may have missed the point. We are a genre specific publisher and don't take on authors too far from our areas of expertise as we have big social media footprints in the areas we work in. We turn down lots of approaches (about 19 out of 20) as we wouldn't be able to do them justice. Anyone in publishing can get a book out there, and I admit we did a bit of that in the early days - but availability is not the same as sales. We'd be delighted to discuss collaborating and passing over those we can't help.

The article is supposed to provoke debate - that we should be expecting authors to engage in social media more. I hope I was clear that we help our non-tech savvy authors to set it all up (and believe me, many of them have zero experience in that space). All I am saying is that in 2011 just providing a manuscript, in the genres we operate in, is not enough.

Please contact us

AUK's picture

Hi Steve

Please do get in touch, I am sure there could be mutual benefit in working with each other. As well as authors who do not fit your areas of coverage, we potentially cover outlets you may not for example as well.

Thanks Paul

All welcome here

AUK's picture

We do not discriminate between individual authors whether they are first time authors, or New York Times best selling authors. Same goes for publishers.They all get the same deal, and the same level of service from us. While we encourage all content owners to promote their work to the best of their ability, we do not make it a condition of working with us.

Some people are just not tech savvy, and I find this a strange position to take, as we accept that some books will sell more than others, nothing more complex than that. We allocate the same in-house (converted by hand here in out UK offices, by our own people) resources, to each and every book.

So all I can say is if Steve over at MX does not want you, you are more than welcome here at AUK, and you will see your work out globally on all available platforms. Maybe that's why week after week we get authors, and publishers joining us and telling us they have looked at other alternatives, and basically there is just not one which does what we do.

www.andrewsuk.com

 

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