The WNBA’s online book promotion panel
Last week’s AAP / Association of American Publishers and WNBA / Women’s National Book Association Book Marketing Online panel offered some interesting takeaways for book promotion. I’m not going to summarize all the issues raised here (for the complete Twitter roundup of the panel, check #wnba318 or watch the video at moderator @SueGreenbergPR’s Book Buzz site), but here are a few:
Panelists emphasized that although it might seem ideal to Facebook and tweet and blog and maintain a website, the reality is that most busy authors simply don’t have the time, the desire (or perhaps the expertise) to be involved in a myriad of online activities. So the smart thing to do when you’re pressed for time is pick one (or more) platforms and start building followers in that community, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or a blog. (Keep in mind, though, that interacting with online fans need not be a time suck. Panelist and author @abbystokes pointed out that she tweets for 15 minutes in the morning and evening without interrupting her writing and teaching time.)
Also keep in mind that quality can be more important than quantity when it comes to followers on Facebook or Twitter — you want followers who are interested and engaged, not just people who accept a fan request and then never bother to check the page. Also, use social media to listen as well as talk.
Location-based social networks like Foursquare, Gowalla and Whrrl could one day be used — assuming they catch on — to build author tours and to promote books by offering badges / pins, etc. (I just suggested to Foursquare that they add a “Book Nerd” badge, which I thought would be fun and in the spirit of the “game” — we’ll see how that one works out.) At the very least, these LBS networks can definitely help us book peeps find one other during BEA, so sign up, folks. At this point Foursquare seems to be the most popular service with Gowalla a distant second. (Only one of my 500 Facebook friends is on Whrrl and I can’t find an obvious way to import my Twitter or Gmail contacts — not that it doesn’t exist, just that it’s not obvious — so that gets my thumbs down.)
In case you’d like to find out more about the panelists and their blogs, here’s the 411:
– Fauzia Burke, President of FSB Associates, Book Marketing on the Web
– Peter Costanzo, Director of Online Marketing, Perseus Books Group
– Andrea Fleck-Nisbet, Digital/Online Sales & Marketing Director, Workman Publishing
– Ron Hogan, Director of E-Marketing Strategy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
– Kelly Leonard, Executive Director, Online Marketing, Hachette Book Group
–Kate Rados, Director of Digital Initiatives, Chelsea Green Publishing
– Abby Stokes, teacher, author of Is This Thing On?
http://abbyandme.com/ (Includes links to blogs and sites mentioned during the panel)
– Organizer/Moderator: Susannah Greenberg, Susannah Greenberg Public Relations
– A/V: Yen Cheong
The Book Publicity Blog (http://yodiwan.wordpress.com)
Were you at the panel / did you watch online? What did you find most interesting?