And the charm continues. . .

Sorry to shout but this is getting really important. If you are an author, a publishers, an editor, a book marketer, a book seller or just interested you should be connected to Inside Google Book Search either by feed, or e-mail.

Today they have posted yet another piece on the ways of building audience and Helping your niche find you. It highlights some of the ways smart publishers, authors and marketers have spread word and news about their books:

For instance, Ballantine Books distributed gift bags containing copies of James Swain thrillers — which are set in casinos — to hundreds of people at the World Gaming Protection Conference. Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts series, appeared on a cable TV quilting show to talk about patterns and her latest release. But she didn’t stop with television — she also created a website where she blogs about quilting, shares information about her books, publishes a schedule of her appearances and more.

I have encountered some blogs that dislike Google Book Search and are sceptical (like this one by Bill Trippe) but I think over all I get a really positive impression from Google Book Search. Their customer service team responded within a day when I asked questions regarding printing and online access in the future. Does it dismay me when books clearly in the public domain remain either snippet or information view, it does but overall I love the service it provides and think it can only get better.

But more importantly I love the way Google seems to be offering an earnest partnership with the book trade, from Authors to Publishers. The “Don’t Be Evil” motto seems to run true here. They seem genuine, yes they have conditions and concerns for their own resources but embracing them and working with seems by far the preferred response to what seems a fair offer of assistance, know how and cooperation.

Accentuating the positive

Telling Tales: the obviousness of Pew/Internet’s results

It should really come as no surprise to anyone that Pew/Internet [PDF of results] found in a recent study (read more here and here and here) that more people blog to “express themselves creatively” than for money or any other reason. It only takes a quick wander around the blogs tagged books, writing, poems, novel, and reading or indeed any other even slightly creative tag.

From the PDF Summary

Digital Self Expression
As was noted some time ago by a fine post on Gigaom by Robert Young on digital personal expression, the internet is enabling a radical change in personal expression making it easier for people to publish their work online. I am the publisher of my own work on this blog and anyone else who has a blog is too. The engines that facilitate this revolution are akin to presses, printers and broadcasting towers more than they are to actual publishers.

To think that frustrated writers and poet would not take advantage of this new forum is, to be frank, stupid. And it is not just authors and poets, musicians and artists have seen the light as it were. MySpace Music is merely the giant recognising the trend and going with it.

If you think on it this post is directly related to yesterday’s post on submissions. One element of artistic self expression has moved online, the marketing and networking side. Almost as important as getting exposure on the web is building a supportive group of likeminded friends and co-bloggers, taking part in the community might be a kinder way to put it.

Creative Destruction
Soon, and I think sooner than we realise, much more of the process that goes into the finding and weaning of talent will be done online. Authors, artists, musicians and every creative will be exposed much more easily to a global (fractured but global) market in talent. It will be, I suggest, a brutal exposure for many. There are legions of creatives that will survive just fine in their home market but will be slaughtered by more talented, more imaginative or simply more ruthless competition on the global scene. You just have to think of the numerous successful British acts that failed to “crack the states” or the Irish bands that live off gigging in Ireland and have sold maybe 2,000 records globally.

So what do we have?
Opportunities for sure exist and even more go untapped as I mentioned yesterday. But we are faced with a period of shake out too. Some people will benefit from the blogging and internet platform, they will gain links, attention, maybe even book deals and publisher(record company/gallery) interest, others will remain obscure get no links, no attention. The blogosphere already has a very defined power list. It will take a new blogger considerable time to generate the 30,000 or so links that will bump it to the top of the rankings.

Even if that is not the goal, gaining exposure in a chosen niche is hard too and requires know-how and networking skill that many do not possess. This is especially true because the web moves so quickly and the early movers now have a massive advantage of links and attention. In short while offering enormous potential the web offers it only to those who know how to exploit it.

Considering the implications,