Thursday, August 26, 2010

Authors That Get Social Media: Marcus Sakey

Marcus Sakey was an award-winning copywriter on brands ranging from JCPenney to World Championship Wrestling until he left the business to write novels. His books have been translated into a dozen languages, labeled “nothing short of brilliant” by the Chicago Tribune, and chosen among Esquire Magazine’s Top 5 of the Year. Recently Marcus has aggressively expanded into eBook formats, publishing a series of short stores available online.

About a decade ago, something shifted in the publishing world. What used to be famed as a reclusive profession became a very public one. The novelist was expected to leave his garret and go sell himself.

I’m a novelist, and that’s fine with me. I come from advertising, a world where you fight for your ideas, and promoting my own work comes naturally.

However, what I’ve found interesting over the last few years is the ways in which social networking, the Internet, and lately, the rise of the e-book, have shaped these trends. I’ve written about the first two here before, so it’s the latter I’d like to talk about.

Everyone knows that e-books are the future. You don’t have to like it, but it’s foolish to ignore it. The thing is, right now, that future hasn’t arrived. It’s the Wild West out there. Fortunes were made in the West, but a lot of people died of dysentery, too.

For my money, the people who are hailing the end of publishing are short-sighted. I don’t know exactly how the industry will look, but I sure hope that traditional publishers don’t go away. Art shouldn’t be an entirely democratic process.

No, at this point in history, I view e-books is as a support tool. For example, I just released a bunch of short stories as inexpensive e-books. You can buy them for a buck a pop, or as an anthology of seven called SCAR TISSUE for $2.99.

My goals are simple. I want to offer people a way to try my stuff inexpensively. And I want to reach out to them through media that I can guide, e.g., the Internet. My hope is not that I sell a million copies and retire (although I wouldn’t say no). My real hope is that by taking advantage of a changing marketing landscape, I can reach a potential audience that may not otherwise know of me.

Like you.

To that end, allow me to give you one of my stories, absolutely free. It’s called “The Days When You Were Anything Else,” and it’s one of my personal favorites. It’s available for all e-book formats, or as a PDF you can print out.

I hope you’ll give it a read.

To get the story, just click here, add it to your cart, and use coupon code YB98Q.

Nick Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years, and helps the Fortune 100 identify unmet consumer needs, create ideas to fill those needs, and bring them into market. He currently works at Maddock Douglas.
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