- Agents are changing their tune and their role in publishing
- Marketing is really the authors job
In the same panel discussion mentioned above agents also talked about how marketing is really falling more and more to the author. In fact one agent, said “publishers are looking for authors to be partners in marketing.” That means authors must build their platforms. I liked the definition one agent gave for a platform. He said, “a platform is a built-in audience for your book.”
- Social media presence is a must-have for an author
It used to be the first thing an agent did was read the manuscript or query letter. Now, when they receive something from an author, the first thing many agents do is is google the author’s name and look for a social media presence. That’s because authors have to be part of the marketing process and connect with potential readers. The days of just writing and letting everybody else do everything else are long gone. No matter how good of writer you are, you need to become a good marketer.
- All the changes and choices are a good thing, but they are also confusing
It truly is the best time to be an author, but all these choices can create challenges. One agent responded to a question from an author by sayin, “You are in good company. We are all overwhelmed”. I appreciated his honesty, but there is help. One of the best things I think an author can do is subscribe to the Author Learning Center.
Overall, it was a very good conference. Lots of great content. Good collection of authors with a variety of experiences. I look forward to attending again next year
Self published books have to be better than traditional books according to one agent to get noticed.