More on authors, branding and online marketing today, this time from a recent post by Seth Godin, who’s always worth reading. Seth’s post highlights the problems with publisher branding of promotional sites – when most people don’t care who the publisher is – and the need to focus more on facilitation than control of authors’ online activities:
Publishers, like many organizations, want to control the conversation, want to own the web page, want to be sure that people come to them, as opposed to going where people are. The irony here is that bookstores are precisely the opposite of this. There’s no Knopf bookstore, no Random House store. Bookstores, unlike the current conception of car dealers, work best when they are agnostic about what’s for sale.
Authors are brands. Some are billion-dollar brands, some are tiny ones. The web is custom made for authors, but so far, it’s largely going unused.
… Books aren’t the universal medium they used to be, but the industry still ought to be selling more books than we are today. I’m afraid that publishers and authors have embraced a broken system, even though there are tools out there ready to help.