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Category publishing:


“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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Who’s Got Bieber Fever?

posted November 12, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling book design books digital media publishing trends

I was going to write about Portland State University’s partnership with Hewlett-Packard and Lulu to create print-on-demand books, but then I came across this video. It may not be more newsworthy than the new print-on-demand machine, but it is much funnier, and sometimes that’s what you need.

I suppose the video clip IS somewhat newsworthy, though, since I was not even aware that pop star Justin Bieber had published a memoir. Well, until just recently I was not even aware of Justin Bieber at all! He’s not just another pretty face, dear readers! He sings and dances, and he is a published author. Lest you think I am being too sarcastic, here’s a confession: I saw Justin Bieber on the season finale of Shaq Vs., and I actually found him to be quite charming.


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.


Lots to Admire about Lauren Cerand

posted August 6, 2010

Posted by Erin Brown in publishing social media trends

 

This week Publishing Perspectives launches a new series of stories called Publishing People We Admire. The first installment features Lauren Cerand, a self-taught independent publicist in New York City, who helped discover the enormous book-selling power of “The Daily Show,” in addition to anticipating several years ago that “the online community would be the next stage in public engagement, presentation, and dialogue.”

On her website, testimonials about the quality of her work indicate that she is not only a discerning judge of talent but also a refreshing force of positivity and integrity in the industry. In Meredith Bryan’s recent New York Observer article called “My Town of Kind!”—which describes a new era of civility, earnestness, and colleaguiality on the Internet—Cerand is quoted as saying, “that very cynical voice worked really well from 2003-2006 . . . but really negative people, they don’t have a lot of friends.” (And in 2010, as we all know, “friends” = audience.)

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Happy 75 Years to Penguin Books

posted May 28, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling book design books events marketing publishing

penguin-logo

First there was the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile and then the Peeps Fun Bus, and now there’s the Penguin Anniversary-mobile. The automobile, which commemorates the 75th anniversary of Penguin Books, will be touring the United States and making stops for anniversary parties at bookstores. The Penguin Car, a flaming orange Mini Cooper emblazoned with the Penguin logo, will also be transporting authors to book signings and celebrations.

Penguin will donate a set of 75 of its most prominent titles to a library or literacy organization in each scheduled stop along the anniversary tour. In June the Penguin Car will visit Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Kentucky, and California. Though Penguin’s official anniversary date is July 30, the anniversary tour will continue through the summer. At the end of the anniversary celebration, the Penguin Car will be auctioned off, and proceeds will be donated to a literacy group.

Another fun part of Penguin’s celebration is Penguin Ink, which pairs six tattoo artists with six Penguin titles. The tattoo artists designed new covers for the titles, which include Waiting for the Barbarians by J. M. Coetzee, From Russia with Love (yes, it’s a James Bond title) by Ian Fleming, and The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace.

Visit Penguin’s special anniversary website here to follow the Penguin Car and read about the history of Penguin Books.


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