Why Book Blogs Matter

I recently interviewed with a blogger I like, and met on Twitter, on how I see book bloggers changing the business of publishing, and why social networking, or utilizing social media for actual networking purposeshas become a new way of “storytelling” for authors. You can read the rest of the interview here.

Q. How do you see the role of social media play­ing in book mar­ket­ing today and in the future?
I believe that suc­cess­ful books are made on the basis of word-of-mouth: whether your book club, a friend or fam­ily mem­ber, a movie some­one loved that was adapted from a book.

Word-of-mouth has never been quan­tifi­able. Nei­ther has social media.

Nor has pub­lish­ing ever really been all that inter­ested in quan­tifi­able value—that’s not where our pride is.

But con­sider pub­lish­ing (and music, and film): an indus­try that his­tor­i­cally has made money on a sys­tem of beliefs, and not data. First writ­ers, then agents, then edi­tors, then readers…all they needed was to believe in a book. And so sto­ry­telling begets storytelling. Social media is our new means of telling a believ­able story, align­ing media and read­ers to believe. (And yes, media very much lives on Twit­ter. And as for read­ers: you can find them all over on Facebook.)

What else is action­able about social media? Social net­work­ing. For the busi­ness world, it’s rule #1 in form­ing crit­i­cal con­nec­tions. In a social con­text, an author can now fear­lessly net­work with reader, jour­nal­ist, edi­tor, pro­ducer, celebrity. And even become celebri­ties. What’s amaz­ing and dif­fer­ent about social net­work­ing vs. reg­u­lar net­work­ing, is that the play­ing field is that much wider. Your audi­ence is expo­nen­tially greater than an inti­mate cock­tail party or indus­try event. Your pub­lic­ity, well, infinite.

Net­work­ing is mas­sively impor­tant for authors when they are required to think like businesspeople—as mar­keters. And authors are def­i­nitely required to in this age of publishing.

Work Optional - Tanja Hester

Tanja Hester

"Ms. Hester gets you to think about how you might retire early, forc[ing] you to ponder how you could cut current spending and increase your income, savings and the rates they earn." — The New York Times