With nearly 50 educational conference sessions, the 2010 Publishing Business Conference & Expo (PBC) has something for every publishing executive.
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).
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.
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.
As an author of Internet-marketing books and the former Web editor for Chelsea Green Publishing, Jesse S. McDougall knows a bit about using the Internet—and specifically, social media marketing—to sell books.
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.
In a classic, 19th-century short story, Washington Irving’s character Rip Van Winkle wakes up after being asleep for 20 years to find that the world has changed all around him. People he loved, including his wife, are no longer alive, and the country itself has—in the intervening two decades—gone through the massive trauma and upheaval of the Civil War. For Rip Van Winkle, it seems like only a few peaceful hours have passed; all he did was close his eyes. But in what seemed to him a short amount of time, everything around him had irrevocably changed.
Small publishers who expand too quickly sometimes watch their businesses deflate, says Jan Pogue, editor and publisher of Edgartown, Mass.-based Vineyard Stories. That's why she's not going to let the success of her latest book, "Morning Glory Farm: And the Family That Feeds an Island" by Tom Dunlop—a nonfiction title about a local, sustainable, family-owned farm—make her think that she's anything other than a niche publisher.