July 16, 2019

Reader Platforms Set up by Fiction Publishers

Publisher publicity, author promotion, book promotion, author platform, book trends

Chuck Sambuchino begins chapter 1 of his new book, Create Your Writer Platform, with this line: “Platform, simply put, is your visibility as an author.”

Nonfiction authors especially have been told by agents and publishers’ editors that they need a platform. Here is good news for authors: some publishers are creating portals for readers in order to give authors and their books more visibility.

Digital Book World posted an article recently about Epic Reads by Harper Collins. This is a community reading site to reach out to teen readers and promote HC’s books and authors. The site “will provide readers content and a place to gather around three channels: the hub, featuring all HarperTeen books; pitchdark.com for dystopian and paranormal fiction; and storycrush.com for romance and contemporary fiction.”

Jeremy Greenfield notes:

A developing trend in digital book marketing is for publishers to create vertical online hubs for interested readers to engage with and sometimes buy their books. Sourcebooks recently launched vertical romance site, Discover a New Love, which is also an e-book-of-the-month-type subscription service. F+W Media (parent to Digital Book World) has long used vertical communities to market and sell books to consumers. Macmillan has announced plans to turn its Tor.com science fiction hub into a digital-rights-management-free e-bookstore.

HarperCollins’ Diane Naughton (vice president of integrated marketing at HarperCollins Children’s Books) characterizes this as wanting “to have more direct conversations and more customized and tailored conversations around books that we know that readers have identified that they like.”

Key to this is that “users can also add their own content, including photos, videos, lists and links.” (Sales will be handled through online retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound.)

What interests me–and should be celebrated by authors–is that publishers are doing what authors cannot when it comes to promoting authors’ works. This seems to be the natural extension of book clubs, on the one hand, and publisher website catalogs, on the other hand.

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