This post, by Mark Williams, originally appeared on The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing on 10/2/11.
D.D. was here yesterday talking about the new Kindle Fire and the other e-reader devices Amazon have coincidentally brought out just in time for Christmas and the launch of Pottermore. Those guys at Amazon are just so lucky with their timing!
Come to that, they’ve been pretty lucky all round. What an incredible coincidence Amazon launched their Kindle just when ebooks started to take off.
What an incredible coincidence Amazon opened a Kindle store just to sell ebooks.
What an incredible coincidence Amazon invested in the digital future and took a risk on letting indies sell their own work.
What an incredible coincidence Amazon is now a publisher as well as a distributor of books and ebooks.
Of course, none of it is coincidental. Amazon have a clear strategy. That’s not to say Amazon planned in advance every last nut and bolt. What they do is respond proactively to changing conditions. That’s why they are a huge successful business.
As writers we can learn a lot from Amazon. Because in the new publishing world successful writers are also successful business men and women. Like it or not, it’s a fact. We produce goods, package them, and go out and sell them.
Some of us do better than others, obviously. In part that’s down to product. The writers with best-sellers on their hands obviously have something people want to buy. But the most successful writers are those that sell outside their personal blogosphere.
That is, they reach a readership that doesn’t just consist of friends, family, fellow writers and the odd passerby.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. These are your core supporters that get you through the bad times. But the good times only come when you reach the wider market – complete strangers.