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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Using social media to promote your book

Digital Book World has a fascinating piece dissecting the usefulness of social media.

Well worth reading.  Personally, I had no idea that twitter hid financial claws.  And YouTube has never proved very successful, as the people who follow the videos don't appear to be readers.  But YouTube is a wonderful research source!

Facebook is a good place for publishers to brand themselves corporately and for authors to interact with readers.
“Authors don’t have to be on everything, but Facebook is one of the easiest for them,” said Open Road Media’s chief marketing officer Rachel Chou, adding, “If you’re posting on Facebook and not putting money behind it, they’re [Facebook users] not seeing it at all.”

The panel debated whether Twitter actually helps publishers sell books.
“It’s a tough question,” said Houghton Mifflin Harcourt director of culinary marketing Brad Parsons said. “It’s more about awareness.”
Chou said that Open Road has had success using Twitter to disseminate content like images and videos. Chou and Kristin Fassler, director of marketing at Random House Publishing Group, both experimented with advertising on Twitter, but warned that caution was needed because it can get expensive quickly.

The panel agreed that Tumblr was good because its users skewed very young and the platform made it easy to share images, videos, infographics and quotes from books.
Following along with the panel’s conversation on Twitter, Tumblr’s head of literary and nonprofit outreach and of the new Tumblr book club Rachel Fershleiser added that Tumblr can also be used for “in depth discussion,” citing the new Tumblr book club; the spreading of long-form stories, citing a Tumblr “recommended reading” site; author branding, citing Neil Gaiman’s Tumblr blog; and publisher branding, citing Penguin Teen’s Tumblr blog.

Pinterest might present legal issues for publishers, depending on the images being pinned. Further, it may not help sell books.
Pinterest is a “big time suck,” said Chou. “You have to be active and re-pinning and not just doing your own board and if you have a couple people who can spend a few hours a week doing that for you, good for you.”

While not all publishers and authors have created video content or have the ability or plans to do so, YouTube could be a powerful social platform for having meaningful connections to readers.
“YouTube is great for advertising, both for the targeting you can do and the information you get back,” said Houghton’s Parsons.


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Dale said...

Hell's teeth but it all sounds tedious and exhausting.

This Luddite yearns for a return to the days when authors wrote books, publishers helped them through the printing process, and booksellers did the rest while the author was busy recuperating and working on the next book.

Now it seems authors are on a never-ending multi-media treadmill, engaging with the public non-stop, and their writing time is cut right back as a result.Lose-lose.

Joan Druett said...

You tell the truth, indeed you do ... But Posting to friends on Facebook is a lot more fun than sitting in a bookstore wondering if you will get a queue with books to sign, or no interest at all. Or talking to journalists and then waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, thinking oh hell, I hope they don't print that certain observation or comment. (And they always do...)

But what really confused me is the way the panel kept on mentioning money. The social media are supposed to be free, aren't they?