Symbiosis is defined as a close and often long-term interaction between two different organisms, to the mutual advantage of both parties. So it’s easy to see how the term can apply to publishers, authors and bloggers.
The publishing industry is built on relationships. Even at its most basic level – an indie writer selling books to friends or at open mic nights – it comes down to the connections between people. That’s why, when you read the Harry Potter series or work through Stephen King’s back catalogue, you start to feel as though you know the author, even though you’ve never met them.
But publishers, authors and bloggers are particularly connected, and the relationships between them help to shape the publishing landscape. Here’s why.
Why Publishers Need Authors and Bloggers
Publishers need authors because without them, there isn’t a product. Even when the book itself belongs to the publisher – such as with the popular Ladybird Books – a writer will clearly need to pen the actual words that go into the manuscript.
That said, the industry is changing, and authors are increasingly becoming assets because of their audience, and not just for their way with words. In fact, many first-time authors now need to earn an audience on their own before a major publisher will deal with them, and it certainly helps the publisher if the author has a ready following to devour their new releases.
This is also where bloggers come in – publishers have recognised that sending review copies to bloggers can be a great way to pick up reviews and new readers, and bloggers benefit because they get free books to read. It’s win/win!
Why Authors Need Publishers and Bloggers
If you drew a diagram of the relationship between publishers, authors and bloggers, you’d put the authors right in the middle. After all, the industry would disintegrate if there was nobody available to write the words and create the stories.
Authors need publishers for many reasons, although it mostly boils down to expertise. Publishers have the network to build a bank of editors, proof-readers, cover designers, marketers and publicists, and they offer financial support, too. Having a publisher will also provide more kudos to the book, as well as more reach when it comes to distribution.
Bloggers, meanwhile, are arguably the new journalists, and they’re often happy to help authors to get the word out about their releases. Working with bloggers can help to build a buzz during the early stages of a book launch, and they can also provide vital feedback that can be used to improve new releases.
Why Bloggers Need Authors and Publishers
In a nutshell, book bloggers need authors because it provides them with a popular topic to write about. In fact, when they’re not reading and reviewing, many bloggers take the time to interview authors or to run spotlight promotions for recent releases. It gives the blogger extra high-quality content, and it gives the author added exposure.
Bloggers don’t need publishers – they just come in handy sometimes. It’s not uncommon for bloggers to work with self-published authors, but it’s also not uncommon for them to blacklist them in advance because of the volume of poor-quality publications.
But for bloggers, working with publishers can be an effective way to build connections and to earn the opportunity to work with multiple authors at once. And, as a bonus, the association alone can add extra kudos to both the blog and its owner.
Of course, the greatest rewards come when bloggers, authors and publishers all work together. For example, if a publisher sends a book to a blogger and then the author agrees to do an interview, all three parties can share the subsequent coverage, reaching the largest possible audience on social networking sites.
Ultimately, the publishing industry has a rich and varied ecosystem. Publishers, authors and bloggers all work closely together, but there’s also room for agents, managers, marketers, technologists, and others. The industry has never been more exciting.
Are you a publisher, an author or a blogger? If so, how often do you work with the others? Let us know what you think with a comment!
About the author
This post is written by Marc Defosse, the founder and managing director of Ribbonfish. Ribbonfish is a publishing and media sector specialist that offers solutions – such as CRM, project management and sales and marketing systems – to help companies work faster, smarter and more efficiently.