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Socially Active
February 1, 2010

Many publishers have launched or are launching social media efforts. But, as time will tell, an effective social media strategy requires more than simply setting up a Twitter account or a Facebook page and waiting for followers and fans to flock. When San Francisco-based Chronicle Books launched its social media strategy in March 2009, it did so with specific goals in mind. "The overriding strategy … was to build our community, build audience, raise our brand awareness of Chronicle Books online and start … driving traffic to our site," says Guinevere de la Mare, Chronicle's community manager, who works with the marketing team to spearhead and sustain social media efforts.

The Future of the Industry
February 1, 2010

What does it mean when a city of 230,000 loses its lone bookstore, as is happening to Laredo, Texas, in early 2010? With a world of books available to purchase online, is it merely a symbolic loss, or is there something more deep-rooted at work?

The New Marketing Framework
February 1, 2010

A year ago, I wrote a column examining the problems that occur when publishing organizations place marketing departments in technology silos, without access to digital assets and tools that would otherwise make marketing programs more effective.

41 Tips for Building Online Communities
December 1, 2009

Traditional marketing has taken a beating in the distressed economy, but many book publishers are relying on social media efforts to reach new, targeted audiences. While some publishers are unsure about the impact of social networking on book sales—and whether any time or monetary investment is worthwhile—other publishers who are actively engaging in social networking and building online communities around content and authors believe its impact is significant.

36 Twitter Tips for Book Publishers
December 1, 2009

For better or worse, Twitter has become part of our culture. While some people still may not see the value in engaging on the online social networking tool, many do. According to ComScore Media Metrix’s October figures, Twitter had more than 20 million unique visitors in the United States in September. Many businesses find Twitter useful for connecting with customers, and publishers are no exception.

Twitter: I'm Addicted, but With Good Reason
December 1, 2009

I recently became a follower of Khaled Hosseini, author of “The Kite Runner,” on Twitter. I was shocked to see that he had only 920 followers. Not that 920 is necessarily a small number of followers … but it’s Khaled Hosseini, for heaven’s sake. I started looking for some of my other favorite authors. I couldn’t find Barbara Kingsolver (“The Poisonwood Bible” is one of my all-time favorites) on Twitter, but she did have a Facebook profile with 3,845 fans (now 3,846).

The Promise of Poetry in a Digital Age
November 1, 2009

The problems of poetry are many. It can be difficult to discover. It can be difficult to read and interpret. Are you reading it right? Are you interpreting it right? Are you sure?

HarperStudio Expands 'Out From the Print Book' With Vook Partnership
October 30, 2009

Vook, which recently introduced a new media product called a "vook" that blends text and video, has announced a partnership with HarperCollins imprint HarperStudio. Earlier this month, the Emeryville, Calif.-based company announced a similar partnership with Simon & Schuster to release four inaugural vooks.

New Data Indicates Previewing Book Chapters Online Positively Impacts Sales
October 16, 2009

At the Frankfurt Book Fair, LibreDigital presented new data on how readers have sampled book content online over the past 18 months. According to LibreDigital, it has powered more than 500 million page views of sample book chapters and content for publishers, authors, retailers and social-networking sites.

Penguin Kicks Off Second Season of Online Network
October 2, 2009

Penguin Group USA has rolled out the second season of "From the Publisher's Office", its own online network featuring new programming across three multimedia channels: "The Screening Room," "The Radio Room" and "The Reading Room." In its inaugural season, "From the Publisher's Office" logged more than 100,000 page views in three months.

Today's Retail Scene: Are You Prepared to Compete?
October 1, 2009

It used to be straightforward. A publisher sent out a catalog of new releases, promoting certain titles to bookstores. Marketing proceeded through fixed channels and seasonal rituals, and, year after year, everyone knew their place in the dance. Not so anymore.

How to Adapt to the Shifting Market
June 1, 2009

"We’ve almost become accustomed to an uninterrupted flow of bad news,” said Michael Healy, executive director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) at the organization’s sixth-annual Making Information Pay event, held May 7 at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium in New York City. Falling sales, shrinking margins, closing bookstores and job losses are among the negatives facing the industry, noted Healy.

'Read-it-First' Lets Readers Try Before They Buy
February 1, 2009

Matthew Baldacci has been marketing books for 17 years. Currently St. Martin’s Press’ vice president of marketing and publishing operations, he has seen a number of marketing strategies come and go, and is constantly on the lookout for innovative and creative ways to market the company’s some 700 titles a year. He and his team may be on to something with its relatively new “try before you buy” model.

6 Tips to Help Build Your SEO Strategy
December 1, 2008

Book publishers are up against tough competition for readers’ attention, and nowhere is this more evident than in a Google search. On a search results page, we not only compete against other book titles and authors, but we also compete with our own distribution channels, free Web content, video, news and even Google’s own scanned copies of our books. If you find yourself frustrated that you don’t rank in Google as high as you think you should, you’re not alone. So what’s a book publisher to do?

16 Tips for Steering Your Company Through an Evolving Industry
December 1, 2008

It is a challenging time to be a publisher, to be sure. David Hetherington, a 25-year book publishing veteran, describes the current climate as a “perfect storm, as various forces converge to create what may prove to be a truly unique ‘weather system’ for the book publishing industry.” He believes that the combination of the credit crisis and an economy in recession, coupled with a skittish consumer mentality, rising oil prices and the fluctuating dollar, will have a different impact on each major industry sector. “The question will be one of degree. Which sector,” he questions, “will have the toughest time, and how will they respond to the challenges?”

Tips for a Successful Book Launch
December 1, 2008

The Internet has changed the way that publishing companies market books, providing a myriad of new opportunities. But marketers shouldn’t forget lower-tech methods of getting the word out. Here, some experts explain how they promote their books using both the latest and the more traditional methods.

Digital Directions: Does Design Matter in Digital Distribution?
October 1, 2008

An important characteristic of digital content is its ability to deliver to multiple platforms simultaneously—to print, Web and mobile channels. Invariably, the same content will look different when viewed on various output devices, and it should. Each device has its own display characteristics, and the design of the presentation should be optimized for that device. I can hear the groans from publishers already. Reach for the ibuprofen now, because it gets worse: Content also varies within the same delivery medium. For example, content may be syndicated on the Web to multiple delivery partners, whose respective delivery models require alterations to the design. Even large-print