Big publishers do look on-line and at book fairs for books that are selling, especially books and authors that have a presence in the market place: and authors who have actually put in some effort. This article explains what is now happening in the book industry.
Publicity and marketing
Social media platforms have emerged as the digital equivalents of “word of mouth,” which is still one of the most effective ways of marketing books. The social web complements conventional publicity and marketing mechanisms, helping to coordinate feedback and build direct connections with readers. And because the cost of exploiting the social web is infinitely scalable, it is one of the easiest digital innovations to control and evaluate for cost-effectiveness.
Finding and commissioning content
The digital environment removes most barriers to written communication and is rapidly reducing additional barriers to audio and visual communication, too. Non-professionals are writing more than ever before, and the self-publishing world is giving many former amateurs wider opportunities to hone their craft and earn income from it. That means for publishers, searching for new kinds of content and finding authors has never been easier or (theoretically) cheaper, too.
Editing, revising, developing and designing content
While it’s true that without authors there’d be nothing to edit (and, further, that authors now have more opportunities to engage directly with readers and thus increase their leverage in the book business) the publishing process itself really begins when editors start working with authors.