Innovative book marketers talk community at SMWNYC 2012 #smwbooks | Blogads

Innovative book marketers talk community at SMWNYC 2012 #smwbooks

Social media, as a tool to sell books, is here to stay. Yesterday, @blogads’ Henry Copeland was joined by panelists Guinevere de la Mare from @chroniclebooks, Ryan Chapman from @fsg_books, Emily Lyman from @crownpublishing, and Miriam Parker from @littlebrown to delve into best and worst practices for publishers using social media during a panel we called “Innovative Ways of Creating Community Around Books.”

Here are some of the key take-aways from the panel.

Why social media for publishers?
Create a long tail following and build buzz over time to sell books.

How to rock social media for publishers:

  • “Approach everything as an experiment. Test and measure like crazy and then fine tune,” said Guinevere de la Mare.
  • Mix content up over different platforms
  • Know your audience and your brand (ex. Google+ doesn’t make sense for Chronicle because it’s male skewed where as many of their books’ audiences are women)


  • Every day should be different. Focus your energy on where things are happening, and where the right audience is for that day
  • There is no dashboard for use across all networks and there shouldn’t be because then you lose the authenticity
  • Search for niche platforms within different interest groups
  • Make sure your timing is right
  • Stand out from the crowd (ex. everyone was doing Movember photo contests in November, so Chronicle had trouble promoting its beard book)
  • Relate your social media to book sales (ex. The author for the book I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, invented a bong guitar, and created a video playing it. He got 400,000 views on YouTube but didn’t move the needle on sales)

There’s no real difference in doing social media campaigns for different formats of books, yet…


Social Media Channels being used by Publishers:

How to find great content for social marketing:

  • Sign up for newsletters
  • Set up an rss feed of great blogs and websites
  • Downloads apps
  • Call up marketers and let them know if there’s anything they come across that fits into your books or reading to let you know about it
  • Accept tips from bloggers and your community

Ways to Measure Results:

  • Explain successes and failures with annotations
  • Google Analytics
  • Facebook Insights
  • Look at retweets & engagement on Twitter
  • Numbers from bitly links
  • Neilsen reportings
  • Email Marketing numbers, open-rates (Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, etc)



Here are a couple of specific success stories from the panel:

* Cake Pops became the #1 best-selling cookbook of 2011:
The Bakerella, the blogger behind the book, used her own brand to push the title forward. Chronicle filmed Bakerella creating cake pops in a kitchen, and then shared the video on Youtube. It went on to garner over 600,000 views — their 2nd-most-viewed video ever. Beyond that, she tweeted, blogged, and posted to Instagram throughout her tour.

*Lawrence Block  became a NY Times Bestselling Author:
Despite being 73 years old, Lawrence readily adopted social media and quickly built up his Facebook fans to 5,000 in just 3-4 months by being himself, regularly updating and sharing his writing tips.

*Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle became a NY Times Bestseller:
 Crown Publishing  created a Pinterest board based on the lifestyle from within the book.

Thank you to our panelists, and everyone who joined us! We’ve got plenty of photos from the panel, so if you can find yourself in our Facebook album, please tag yourself!

If you’d like to provide any feedback about the panel or ideas for next year, please drop us a line or tweet at @megsterr.

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