22 Tips for Building Communities
Within six months, the publisher hopes to launch a social networking site on WritersMarket.com to allow more experienced users to educate those just breaking into the business. “One way to tap in [to a community] is [to] get experts using the product to be part of an online community,” Sousa says. “It’s a way to harness viral marketing, but even more than that, it’s about sharing a common experience and building that community to help each other in that common experience.”
TIPS FROM … Twila Bennett, Senior Director of Marketing for Revell and Baker Books
Baker Publishing Group is home to seven imprints focusing on Christian history, scripture and evangelism.
17. Capitalize on an author’s following.
“From the time we acquire a book, we are asking how much audience is already built in with that author, even for first-time authors who may already have a well-read blog, a position of leadership or some other audience-generating factor,” Bennett notes. “From there, we look for ways to convert that basic audience to a book audience.
“With existing authors, we work with them to build their own list by capturing names, which in some cases, they’ve simply never taken the time to do.”
18. Video is key.
“We’ve also found that videos used as part of an online campaign, in e-blasts or through YouTube, are part of being able to successfully help audiences connect with an author or the content of a book, because they allow the person watching to get a feel for the author or topic in a way that static words just don’t,” Bennett says. “These are very often the elements that most friends pass on a link to a friend to watch.”
This was the case with a new book called “Glimpses of Heaven,” which recounts stories of what people have seen, heard and experienced at the end of life. “The way that the author, who has been a hospice nurse, is able to connect with people dealing with end-of-life issues is something that is comforting and totally appropriate to pass along to someone else in the same situation,” says Bennett.