Seth Godin posted a great article on his blog this week about the erosion of the media pyramid. He laid out four basic types of media:
of a kind type of
content or material.
Limited: Media more
unique than mass media. For
example, special edition hardcovers
or bonus materials included with books
would definitely fall into this media category.
Mass: This is the section of the pyramid that most
books fall into now. Mass media includes every book
that has been produced for mass market appeal and offered
to the general public. This section of the period is exploding right
now, but is also eroding. In the not too distant future, this piece of the
pyramid could shrink smaller than the limited category and be dwarfed by free.
Free: This includes every type of media that is offered for free. Due to the appeal of digital
content, this section of the pyramid is growing fast. Most books will have to appeal to both the free section of the pyramid and the limited section of the pyramid to have a real chance for succes in the future. Navigating this new gap between free and limited is the key to success for books in the coming years.
1. Free-fall: First, offer your book for free in some way, or at least very inexpensively. Offer your book at rock-bottom prices on Kindle & Nook, and give away free copies on your site. By offering the book for free you are proving that you have more to offer than just what is in the book and you are building your audience faster.
2. Mass appeal: What avenues will your book open for you? Spend more time focused on those areas. Think through your business ideas, your speaking opportunities, and your concerts. Your book can be the start of something special, not the end of the work on a manuscript.
3. Free Bonuses: You can offer the book itself for free, use if for a launching pad for something else, or you can offer free bonuses connected with your book. For example, offer free song downloads for those folks who bought your book on your site, or a free business consultation. The key is offering value in addition to your book that can be accessed easily and inexpensively.
Want more ideas on how to offer more value with your book? Check out Kickstarter, a micro-fundraising website that specializes in helping people offer value attached to their products. You can get a ton of ideas here on how to add value to your products and pick up some fundraising advice while you are at it.