Living in the age of technology is an exciting adventure. Just watching the progress of computers alone is amazing. To think how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time, vastly increasing technological capabilities while at the same time making devices smaller and more portable. This has made it possible for thrilling breakthroughs in everything from the medical field to engineering. We live in a world where tiny computers live in our pockets, where we can instantly have access to books, movies, and songs and think nothing of it. So what does this mean for the future of the book and the self-published author?
3D printing opens up the door to creative and unique opportunities. It gives companies the opportunity to make quick and accurate models for products in order to understand their strengths and weakness before moving on to the full sized creation. While on the other end of the spectrum people are using 3D printers to make detailed figurines for games and hobbies. A neat site to check out is Thingiverse. They have amazing examples of the things that people have created with 3D printers and they even share the blueprints so that you can print your own at home or any place you have access to a 3D printer.
So what does this have to with the self-published author? Personally I think it’s a great marketing opportunity. One Idea would be to offer a ‘free’ 3D printer blueprint of a character from the book. Consumers love when they get something extra or “free” along with their purchase and readers love unique ways to connect with the book they’re reading. Additionally you could offer other blueprints for sale of different characters from the book or even scenes and key items. It’s a win for both authors and readers. Readers get a new and exciting way to interact with their books and authors have a new marketing idea to bring in interest and sales.
Currently, this might not take off as quickly as hoped because access to 3D printers is still limited. However, they are still accessible. For example I can have access to one at local library and another in a Makerspace in my local community college campus. It’s certainly worth a quick internet search to see if there is one available near you. And hopefully, one day soon, 3D printers will be a common household appliance.
Pay with a Tweet
Social media has become an invaluable marketing tool. The majority of people admit that social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, is their main source for news and information. With so many people spending a significant portion of their day on social media it’s easy to see how advertising with Facebook or Twitter is a marketing goldmine. But what’s the best way to use social media to get your books out there? How do you produce enough interest that people continue to share your product? Pay with a Tweet is a service that offers a solution. Pay with a Tweet allows you to offer access to your product in exchange for a tweet. It’s as simple as placing a button on your website. Readers can then click on that button and share your site or product on their favorite social media platform and gain access to the offered content. The idea is similar to when music artists offer access to a free single in order to create interest in their whole album. Pay with a Tweet allows you to simultaneously spread yourself across social media while also giving a sneak peak at what you have to offer.
In Home Book Press
It’s kind of fun to think about the possibilities that the future brings. One day we may even have an affordable home book printing press. How neat would that be for people to be able to print their own books at home? It’s worrying to think about bookstores disappearing but what if that means that we had our own little libraries and bookstores at home? It might even make it easier to exchange or recycle older books. If the machine could take old books and recycle their paper and covers and use them to print new books I think people would be really excited. It opens the door to many possibilities.
While sadly we don’t yet have our own personal book presses, there are some neat articles about making books at home. The article Do-It-Yourself Book Press by Hamish MacDonald outlines the pros and cons of different self-publishing options. He even gives you a couple how-to’s on hand making your own hardback and paperback books.
Are there any ideas that you’re particularly excited about? Or maybe you have a new idea! Let us know in the comments below!