Book publishing is changing. It used to be the primary method people used to share their ideas. It dominated for a long time.
That’s not the case anymore. Today, there are more options than ever for people to distribute content thanks to content marketing.
But some people have yet to realize that books are just ONE option, rather than the ONLY option. In fact, Seth Godin punched book publishing in the face with this post.
Sobering, huh? I agree.
My favorite paragraph is his last: “We still need ideas, and ideas need containers. We’ve developed more and more ways for those ideas to travel and to have impact, and now it’s up to us to figure out how to build an ecosystem around them.”
Content marketing is changing our perception of book publishing, because we’ve learned:
- Books are just one channel by which we can communicate our message. Content marketing reveals that we must diversity our communication channels because every segment of our audience has their own combination of content consumption habits.
- Books are an introduction to a conversation rather than a seminal work to sit on the shelf. Content marketing birthed “drip campaigns.” Give me a little over a long period of time.
- Books are written with multiple readers in mind. Publishers have adopted short-form design through sub-heads, pull quotes, and key ideas at the end of each chapter. These are all designed to provide options since everyone reads differently. Content marketing refines our ability to gain the permission necessary to get the attention of the people we need to reach.
- Books aren’t the product; they are a gateway to a trust-based relationship. Content marketing provides a systematic way to build value into your target audience so—over time—others begin to develop trust for your brand, business, or cause.
- Traditionally, books are about what the author wants to say. Content marketing is based on questions our target audience is already asking and the obstacles they are already facing.
Books are a powerful way to share your story efficiently and effectively. However, books shouldn’t be considered your final work.
Content—the transferable reality between books and content marketing—should be the beginning of a long-term, trust-based relationship.
Sometimes the only way to move forward when you hit a fork in the road is to destroy the illusion that our perception is everyone’s perception.
Books are not shaping content marketing. Rather, books are a tool in the content marketer’s toolbox. It’s the only way books—as we know them—will survive.
How has your brand, business, or cause experimented with book publishing? What did you learn?
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