November 1, 2012

Dear Guild Members,

This is absolutely, positively the greatest time in history to be a writer.

 Why? Let me give you three powerful forces working in our favor.            

Force Number One: We have many more avenues for publishing our books than we could have remotely conceived of even a few years ago.  We have seen Indie presses joined by expanded print-on-demand (POD) options, print/e-book combinations, new Amazon imprints, and direct-to eBook formats, to name the most popular. 

Sales of eBooks, a particularly attractive platform for us because of their low production costs (as in close to zero) and ease of distribution, are soaring.  Since 2006, eBook sales have zoomed by 429%.  Bestselling author Erik Larson reports that more than fifty percent of his book sales are now electronic versions.  James Patterson has sold five million eBooks, two million in 2011 alone.

Force Number Two: Traditional publishers have a business that is shriveling like a grape in the noonday sun.  They need new material to sell.  They need to be in the eBook space.  Right in our sweet spot.  The eBook cost advantage combined with the marketing reach of social media has provided publishers that Hallelujah! moment needed to turn their attention to previously unknown writers.  Just ask E. L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Or Amanda Hocking, who parlayed strong Kindle sales of her Hollowland eBook series into a $2.5 million traditional publishing deal with St. Martin’s Press. 

Force Number Three: We have far more capabilities for selling our works than in the entire history of civilization.  Take your choice - you may employ face-to-face and e-mail marketing, a website+facebook+twitter strategy, or some combination in between.  All can work.

In any of these marketing directions, the Guild’s newly introduced social media initiatives will help you build the author platform to give you the full exposure your hard work deserves. 

Our facebook site,  illustrates uses of that medium.  The site is bursting with valuable information…idea-generating articles…Guild-created marketing guides…discussion groups on a wide range of topics…and more.  Not comfortable with the technology?  Enroll in the Guild’s new online tutorials  and get started.

Take advantage of this incredibly unique period we live in.  Put these three forces to work for you.  Act now.

Jim McFarlin

James D. McFarlin, PSWG President

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