You love books. Printed books.
And like most writers, you’re probably an avid reader who has spent thousands of hours with print books over your lifetime.
Perhaps you’re mourning their passing.
No, print isn’t quite dead, but it is struggling. And when publishing is fully reborn, it will be utterly different.
As a writer, you’ve never stood in front of more opportunity than you do right now.
As a copywriter, you are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this publishing revolution.
The world of publishing has already changed forever, and you must make a decision.
For those who believe ringing the death knell is premature, I’ll call the honorable voice of History to the stand.
Amazon, iTunes, and the new price of reading anything
Amazon recently lowered the base price of its Kindle eReader to $79.
The day Apple lowered the price of its game changing iPod to $99 was the day international opinion shifted and digital music downloads went wholesale.
$79 is a remarkable price, and it will lead to a ridiculous number of Kindles under a countless number of trees this coming Christmas.
And of course, millions of downloads will follow. I should say, millions more, because as of this spring, ebook downloads have already overtaken print books sold on Amazon.
You must make a decision.
Choose to focus on what you’re losing, fixed on an unchangeable past, or embrace the reality of a stunning tomorrow.
Trust me, I love books too …
I love their scent and the weight in my hand. I love turning the pages and leaving half-read volumes scattered around my house. I love the dog-eared pages. I’ve read thousands of books and will read thousands more.
But the way I’m reading them has changed forever, and I’m happy about that.
Books are meant to deliver information. The old way was amazing, but clunky.
We printed, published, and distributed at the speed of ice floes, requiring plenty of paper, ink and fuel.
I won’t pretend there isn’t an inherent loss in transitioning the physical book to the digital container. But that’s like lamenting the loss of winter thawing to spring.
The writer runs this show (really)
Information can now be delivered in an instant and is infinitely scalable.
Writers no longer need permission to follow their dreams or publish edgier, riskier — and for the reader, more rewarding — material.
Writers who understand this and focus on all we’re gaining will be standing beneath a hard rain of amazing possibility.
Good writers have nothing to lose and everything to win. Every new innovation in books and publishing will ultimately deliver more words into the hands of more readers.
Some of those words can be yours.
For writers like me, and hopefully you, who have been waiting in the wings, this is our chance.
It’s exactly what we’ve been waiting for.
The gatekeepers are MIA. They’ll probably be back — in some form or another. But for now, this is our chance to run, as far and as fast as we can. It’s our chance to push things as far as they will go.
A chance to make a name for ourselves.
Many of us will fall, but we still have plenty of time to get up, dust off and try again.
Copywriters and marketers have an invaluable opportunity to witness a new market taking primordial shape. While the old rules of pricing and positioning still hold, there are bound to be some surprises teaching us new ways to sell, and deliver value to our readers.
My years of writing online led me to this
I’ve wanted to write fiction since shortly after my first sentence. It burned inside me, but back then it was smart to bury the desire. After all, fiction was a poor man’s sport, at least when no one knew your name.
That once upon a time just died.
When I saw the sales numbers for eBook downloads last January, I quickly shifted my entire business.
I could finally do what I was best at, writing excellent fiction, and make a great, if not phenomenal, living doing so.
And now, for the first time since registering my first domain, Writer Dad, my creative and professional lives are in perfect harmony.
And I have my years as a copywriter to thank for it.
Your secret weapon
Now that the gatekeepers have been removed from their posts, you can bet that more writers than ever are going to be taking a chance on their dreams.
You’re going to be competing against them.
But YOU have a secret weapon — you’re a copywriter.
You not only know how to tell a story (I hope), but you can make the sale, too.
Think about everything you learn on Copyblogger, from …
- writing magnetic headlines
- to crafting open loops
- to ways to keep your readers glued to the page
- to persuading readers to opt into your lists and take action
These are tools most writers would kill for. Skills that not only help you create page-turning fiction, but also help you develop an eager audience.
Our generation of writers are about to do something special.
Our story, as we write it
My writing partner, David Wright, and I have just finished a snow-cone-cool serialized fiction project, Yesterday’s Gone.
Though the idea of serialized fiction has been around since Dickens, we’re moving the publishing concept to the digital page.
Dave and I modeled Yesterday’s Gone after superbly scripted television, a format which neatly fits everything from how modern consumers are buying bite-sized content, to the get-noticed pricing of $0.99 that John Locke has ridden to sales of more than one million Kindle downloads in just five months.
The self-published authors mentioned above who have had phenomenal success on Kindle have had multiple titles in the same market, priced low enough to blow up BIG. John Locke didn’t even start marketing until his fifth book was finished.
Was I willing to write five full books at .99 each?
Was I willing to team with my writing partner to write one remarkable adventure, split into pieces, just like they do on every TV show I’m addicted to?
I jumped in with both feet and a smile, then surfaced with the best work I’ve ever done.
Check out the trailer:
The Yesterday’s Gone model is great, It will be a large part of my personal publishing business, and, I believe, the industry in general.
A word of warning
The Kindle revolution is not a gold rush, though there is indeed gold in them thar hills.
If you cannot put out a quality book, you will fail.
If you build your publishing business on PLR (private label rights), you will fail, even if you win for a while.
If you cannot entertain your readers, build a relationship with them, or fuel their excitement enough to help you spread the word, then you will lose your spot on the bestseller list to other writers who can, even if you’re the “better” writer.
Even if you do everything right, you can still fail.
Luck still plays a part in writing success. But failure is temporary. If I’m not lucky now, I’ll be lucky later. I won’t wait for it to find me.
Some of the “luckiest” people I’ve met are simply the most undaunted.
Write as well as you can, gather your audience around the strength of your voice, and be patient.
Keep writing, even if your first, second or third books aren’t home runs.
The power of forever
Everything you publish to Kindle and other eReaders will be there forever.
Yesterday’s Gone isn’t an info-product, it’s an awesome (in my opinion) piece of fiction. My children will be earning royalties for many yesterdays, even after I’m long gone.
We all have our predictions, guesses and speculations, but this is one story where there are no spoilers. We’re at the edge of a cliffhanger without an ending in sight. Whatever it is, is sure to be a complete surprise.
Whatever happens, Copyblogger readers can win.
Copywriters, in particular, can win.
There will be more work for everyone. Not just writers, but editors, graphic designers, marketers and consultants, as smart writers invest in quality service providers to help them bring their books to market.
The future of reading is different from the one you used to know, but it’s also better.
Those writers who will win big are the ones who see history in cycles and understand that tomorrow is only the past repeated, seen from another side.
What about you?