No, I don’t have a new internship. I promised myself a break from working in publishing. This semester, I am actually learning about publishing in an entirely new way: from the classroom.
Promoting books is hard work! But it’s also an experiment. I know there’s lots of debate as to whether or not bloggers make a difference. My publishing classmates and I are working extremely hard outside the classroom to promote NAMELESS by Kyle Chais (Karen Hunter Publishing, January 2012). We were divided into three groups to see who can get the most Twitter / Facebook followers & Amazon views in the next three weeks. Week 1 is my group’s week to dominate Twitter.
Since book blogging is what I know, this is the market I decided to target. So it will be really interesting to see if reaching out book bloggers will make a difference. There is very, very little known about Kyle and NAMELESS. Can book bloggers really have an impact on this 20-year-old’s life? I guess we’ll have to find out.
Here’s what I learned during my first week as a “publicist”:
- Contact with the author is important! I’m not only selling the book; I’m also trying to sell the author.
- But after a while, the publicist really needs to be the one to take control of social media outlets (in my case Twitter). I have to work with what I have. Establish new connections, forge already existing connections (such as connections with Simon & Schuster imprints) to maximize Twitter exposure.
- Compiling a list of bloggers is actually really time-consuming. I don’t follow a lot of other fellow bloggers who review adult paranormal / urban fantasy so I actually had to go out and look for them. My favorite tool: The Book Blogger Directory.
- Writing a press release is kind of fun. But certain publishers follow certain formats when writing one up, so follow the template.
- Canned responses on GMail is my best friend. I don’t know what I would have done without it. It made sending 50+ press releases in one night manageable.
- Everything is easier said and done. Despite all my hard work, the only thing I can really do is sit back and try to see if my efforts paid off. And refresh every five seconds.
So the verdict? Twitter is actually a hard platform to make a jump-start out of. Not as many people use twitter at the moment, even if it doesn’t seem like it for non book blogger folks. People are still predominantly on Facebook. Maybe people are more inclined to follow a Facebook page after all.
But: I did learn that book bloggers do make an impact, even if it did reflect just a tiny bit, it was something. Based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, we saw an increased interest of Nameless. We got comments from readers who were genuinely interested in picking up the book. Bloggers who tweeted about the giveaway did generate some traffic to our Twitter page, but it wasn’t as substantial as we hoped. Lastly, I didn’t really expect any response from book bloggers regarding review copies, but hey! I actually got replies. The prompt responses that I received truly made me excited that other people were excited about this book!
We didn’t get the amount of Twitter followers that we aimed for, but our team made a lot of progress of actually getting the word out to the people who care about books!
So want to help me out? This week, my group is in charge of the Nameless Facebook Page! Don’t forget to hit “LIKE!”
Hmm, I thought Twitter WOULD make a difference, but you need to have a substantial amount of followers first, I guess.
By the way, what a cool class! You’re going to be a publicist? I’d love to learn (and implement) these sorts of things
I want to be an editor, but my publishing class covers a lot of the different jobs in the industry.
What a cool assignment !PR is alot of fun I did some PR work in college and hopefully I can find a job in it.
Nameless is a great example of the change bloggers can make. I even started following Nameless on twitter !
Wow, that sounds like a really fun assignment! I’m so jealous of all your bookish adventures!
Twitter is more helpful I think when someone is already established and well known, its not so much as a launching pad but a good source for letting people know what new stuff you have.
I am happy to hear that blogging does make a difference. I love Waiting on Wednesday, the more you post on other people’s post the more likely they will check out your book of choice and see it.
I will check out the facebook page when I get home