Those of you who work professionally in the publishing biz have probably been reading, hearing and talking about the art and science of ‘e-book discovery’ for years now; it’s been a slowing growing industry trend for as long as I can remember. But unless I’ve suddenly been stricken with a nasty case of Baader-Meinhof Syndrome, the so-called ‘discovery’ concept has absolutely exploded lately: Everyone in the book world, it seems, is talking about it.
Why is that? The best explanation, as far as I can tell, is that book publishing itself has exploded—e-book publishing especially—now that we all live in the Age of the ePub. But author Karen Dionne wrote an interesting piece for the Huffington Post last week that offers a decent solution to the drowning-in-books problem: It’s called an author collective. Here’s how Dionne explains the idea:
“Author collectives are groups of authors with common interests who band together in order to more effectively promote their self-published titles. Two collectives, Rock*It Reads and Killer Thrillers, maintain high standards for membership, making it easy for readers to discover quality e-books via the groups’ respective websites.”
As Chris Meadows pointed out in a TeleRead post published last May, author collectives (or ‘electronic author cooperatives’) are generally made up of independent authors—as opposed to established authors—as a way to increase their own promotional opportunities. But regardless of whether or not the author collective idea was started with the benefit of writers (and not necessarily readers) in mind, the reverse seems to be the case today. And again, that makes perfect sense: If you’re a fan of an independent author who hangs out primarily with likeminded writers, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the work of his or her friends, too.
When you think about it, it’s really no different than the reading suggestions Amazon presents you with, whenever you log into your account: Since you liked Book X, you’ll probably like Book Y.
♦ The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLIA)