Guest Post by Matthew Smith
First up, a guest post by Mr Urbane himself in which he talks about books and gives this event a nice mention.
A LOVER OF BOOKS URBANE BOOK EVENT
There are a number of challenges and issues that tax the mind of the average publisher. Putting aside the editorial, design and production demands for a moment (and the industrial levels of coffee consumption), the key driver for all of us – publisher and author alike – is, of course, book sales. Namely, how the hell do you secure more of them?
The key of course is discoverability. I firmly believe there is a readership for every book (much to my accountant’s horror) and Urbane prides itself on taking a risk or two with its books rather than simply churning out genre fodder. The author has poured heart and soul into creating a voice – so give that uniqueness wings, don’t twist and turn it to mimic all the other voices already yelling in the same room, a room that’s getting smaller and smaller by the day.
But how does that impact on discoverability, if your books don’t fit the nice, neat little genre boxes that have been established in the risk-averse bookselling channels? And more importantly, if you haven’t got a pot of gold to spend on adwords, Amazon advertising, Facebook or ‘securing’ a thousand reviews the week of publication – and you haven’t made your book look like Girl on a Train (homage number 38) – how do you give that book the profile it deserves?
For Urbane the answer lies in a long term ‘strategy’ (sorry, hate that word, we’re creating books, not pumping out products) to connect directly with an ever-growing readership, and recognise that it’s the individual reader that counts, not whether we have ‘targets’ of 5,000, 10,000 or 20,000 sales. Find a new reader, ensure they receive a book that is deserving of their attention and commitment, and chances are they will not only discover another Urbane author but also find us another reader or two.
Don’t get me wrong, if I had a squillion pounds and could buy success for all Urbane’s authors I would – goodness knows they deserve it. But that’s not the world we publish in – every sale is earned, every reader is appreciated, ever piece of feedback is gold.
And how do we find those new readers? Yes, by ensuring books are visible in the relevant channels. But primarily through our growing network of advocates and supporters. The most important of whom are the bloggers and reviewers who have given, and continue to give, so much time and effort on behalf of Urbane and its authors.
Which brings me to this latest Urbane event being put together by Sonya. Urbane hasn’t requested or managed this event. It has been entirely conceived, created and managed by A Lover of Books. It is not an advertorial, it is not a contrived ‘marketing piece’, but rather a genuinely collaborative attempt by an established book reviewer and blogger to give Urbane authors a chance to reach a new audience.
And frankly I am in awe of such efforts on behalf of our small independent company. Every single post, every single comment, every single piece of feedback – and every single new reader – that results from this wonderful event is the lifeblood that keeps Urbane alive and thriving and growing so we can continue to bring you new books and new voices. Urbane – and I suspect lots of indies like us – could not survive without the support of advocates like Sonya. And I, and Urbane’s authors, will be eternally thankful for her generosity of spirit and unstinting efforts on our behalf.
So, please enjoy each and every post over the coming days and do let Sonya have your feedback (and a thank you or two). And remember, with every click, every read, every piece of feedback, every mention, YOU are driving discoverability for our books and authors. We can’t do it without you. And frankly, we don’t want to.
Thanks everyone x