As major publishing houses adapt to the current climate of digital, self, and hybrid publishing, many of the smarter ones are looking for new ways to remain relevant with their authors, especially their established ones. Think of it this way: in this current publishing state, a well-known and bestselling author with a built in and highly engaged fan base can quite easily look around and think to herself, “Why do I need you?”
Simon&Schuster answered that question today with an announcement about a new tool set for their authors, one that gives them support in a variety of career determining moves. Called S&S InkedIn, this networking service will be available only to their authors through the professional site LinkedIn.
“Simon & Schuster’s authors are a talented and knowledgeable community that, using S&S InkedIn, can come together for the purposes of sharing information, advising each other, and enjoying the unique,
only-an-author-would-understand camaraderie and inspiration of their peers in a private, professional social network,” said Ellie Hirschhorn, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Simon & Schuster, in a press release. “We encourage all our authors to join and learn what others are doing to promote themselves and their books, exchange ideas and tips, invite other authors to participate in local and online events, or discuss any topic that they deem relevant. S&S InkedIn, and the entirety of our newly refashioned Author Portal, reflects our ongoing commitment to providing Simon & Schuster’s authors with the tools and resources they need to have the best publication possible.”
This most recent addition to Simon&Schuster’s Author Portal is designed to equip authors with the same skillsets and access to tools that self-published authors already rely on. Interestingly, the goal of S&S InkedIn is to help their authors promote their books themselves, participate in webinars and conferences that will teach them how to engage and market their work, and more.
Critics of this idea may scoff at the idea that a publisher has launched an innovative portal to help authors do all of their own legwork; after all, aren’t marketing and promotion the publisher’s job? The reality there is that authors–regardless of how they publish–will only have a long-term career if they make business-minded decisions and take on much of their own promotion. That is not a new reality in the world of publishing. In fact, it’s an unfortunate myth that traditionally published authors somehow get to sit back and let the publisher make them into household names.
“S&S InkedIn is just one of numerous recent improvements to Simon & Schuster’s Author Portal, which was initially launched in 2011 to provide Simon & Schuster authors with one location to find the information and resources they need throughout the publishing process. With a completely new look-and-feel that makes it even easier for authors to find valuable information about their books and the publishing process.”