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Category marketing:


“It Has to Be about What You Stand For, and Who You Are”

posted December 23, 2010

Posted by Erin Brown in authors books marketing publishing social media

Jane Friedman (of the blog There Are No Rules) had a much-tweeted-about post last week titled “When (or Why) Social Media Fails to Sell Books.” Ironically, I clicked the link in the same spirit as the naysayers Friedman so often contends with—those who are hungry for some confirmation that this Facebook/Twitter stuff is just an unfortunate fad (like the infernal skinny jeans: surely this will pass in another season or two). But, of course, Friedman is not heralding the coming end of social media. Rather, she is pointing out the flawed logic in expecting social media to justify itself with direct sales figures or in rejecting social media after you tweet out a few links to reviews of your book . . . and the big sales bump doesn’t come.

Friedman’s not the first person to remind us that self-promotion—or “building a platform”—in the digital age is a nuanced and long-term project, a leap-of-faith investment, whose dividends are hard to quantify. But she hits the nail on the head nonetheless. Be creative, she is is saying. Participate. Bring something of immediate value to the table, and (this is critical) be willing to give it away.

Most importantly, it has to be about more than selling books—or whatever your goal might be. It has to be about what you stand for, and who you are.

Self-promotion, with integrity. Is that it? Coincidentally, this is the title of a great piece in Publishing Perspectives about Stephen Elliot and the interesting and innovative ways he has generated a following, both as founding editor of the online magazine The Rumpus and as author of The Adderall Diaries. With his house-to-house reading tour, his weekly personal e-mail to 5,000 subscribers, a self-designed iPad app for his book, and other outside-the-box initiatives, Elliot seems to exemplify much of what Friedman is talking about.

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Epic Coffee Battle

posted October 13, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in digital media marketing

So what does this video have to do with publishing or virtual offices? Well, nothing, really, unless you consider what a staple coffee is in the publishing industry as well as offices (I know, it’s a stretch, but I am taking it). In addition, it’s hard to think about the pleasures of reading or writing without also considering coffee.

I think you can also draw a parallel between the coffee industry and the book publishing/book selling industry. There are the giants, and then there are the small, fiercely independent outfits. To say that coffee is important here in Portland, Oregon, would be a gross understatement. There are dozens of microroasters and nanoroasters with their single-origin, medium-roast coffees. Sometimes, as with small publishing houses and booksellers, it can start to feel a bit . . . precious. That is why I appreciated this Coffee Wars video. I love coffee, and I love books, but I also think it’s important to maintain a sense of humor and not take things so seriously.


A New Twist on Public Poetry

posted September 14, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in marketing poetry

Flux Film 001 | Morse from Proper Medium on Vimeo.

Artist John Morse has come up with a clever way of spreading haiku around Atlanta. His project, dubbed “Roadside Haiku,” uses bandit signs, those not very attractive, cheap white plastic corrugated advertisement signs that are ubiquitous in metropolitan areas. In keeping with the general aesthetic of bandit signs, Morse uses large black lettering, and the poems begin with catch phrases commonly found on bandit signs.

Morse has written 10 haiku, each printed on 50 signs for a total of 500 scattered across Atlanta. Here are some examples:

BUILD PERSONAL WEALTH
In the comfort of your home!
Read to your children.

LOSE UGLY WEIGHT FAST!!
Feel Happier! Healthier!
Dump your bigotry.

You can also check out the signs on Morse’s Facebook page.

For more information on the project, visit Flux Projects or see this article from the Guardian.


Now THAT Is What I Call a Book Trailer

posted August 16, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling authors books marketing publishing social media uncategorized

I have to confess that I have not really understood the point of book trailers. It seems counterintuitive to market a book with a video, but perhaps I just need to rewire my brain. Well, if more book trailers were like the one above for Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, then I would completely be on board. It’s clever! Funny! Heart warming! Of course, not all authors are connected enough to have celebrity authors and famous actors appear in their book trailers, but I think there’s a lesson in the trailer nonetheless: it’s okay to have some fun.


Now THAT Is What I Call a Book Tour

posted August 5, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling authors book design books events marketing trends

Lynch

There are probably plenty of writers out there who kind of dread book tours, but author Jim Lynch isn’t one of them, or at least he isn’t at the moment—he has found a way to combine pleasure with work. An avid sailor, Lynch cruised from his home in Olympia, Washington, to various booksellers in the San Juan Islands (in the Seattle area) during a weeklong tour at the end of July. He promoted two of his novels on the tour: The Highest Tide, his first novel, and Border Songs, recently issued in paperback.

Lynch’s sailboat is a 1970 Bristol 32. He kicked off his tour on July 24 on Shaw Island as guest speaker at the Shaw Island Historical Society Annual Meeting. His final stop was on July 31 in Anacortes at Watermark Books. Lynch also made stops on San Juan Island, Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and Lummi Island. This month he will be traveling on land in Oregon and Washington. For more information visit his website. Also check out this article about his nautical tour in the Wall Street Journal.


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