Monday, March 4, 2013

Harnessing Social Media to Promote Your Titles and Company

American Book Producers Association

Harnessing Social Media

 to Promote Your Titles and Company

05 Mar 2013 12:30 PM • In Good Company, 16 West 23rd Street, 4th Floor

Susannah Greenberg, Matt Pantoliano, Sarah Christensen Fu, Nancy Hall.
March 5, 2013, American Book Producers Association Event.
Photo credit: Susannah Greenberg Public Relations


Susannah Greenberg, President, 
Susannah Greenberg Public Relations

Sarah Christensen Fu, Founder 
Hey, Sarah!

Matt Pantoliano, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, 
Simon & Schuster Children's Division

UPDATE: Click here to see the story about this event which was published in Publishers Weekly on March 6, 2013

(What follows is an account of this event written by Susannah Greenberg) 

Matt Pantoliano of Simon & Schuster spoke about a successful social media campaign for Young Adult Author Cassandra Clare, a "cover reveal" fueled by tweets. With each tweet more of the cover would be revealed. 

Below is a link to a campaign for a "chapter reveal" where more of the chapter of a Cassandra Clare book was revealed with every tweet.

We did it Shadowhunters! The first chapter of CLOCKWORK PRINCESS has been revealed! Show your Shadowhunter Pride and wear this badge with honor!

Matt Pantoliano spoke about the new S&S teen social media outlet PulseIt. Looks great! #ya #teens

Matt Pantoliano also mentioned a video chat events online service at

and another one called Spreecast.  "Spreecast is the social video platform that connects people through video conversation."

Sarah Christensen Fu
Sarah Christensen Fu

Sarah Christensen Fu of spoke about bringing Mary Higgins Clark in closer rapport with readers by creating a Facebook page and then a video based on questions sent to the author through Facebook.  

Welcome to the Official Mary Higgins Clark Facebook Page.
Page: 275,138 like this

Greenberg recounted a social media campaign which launched a YA novelist who was self-published.  The campaign succeeded through buzz built by blogger reviews including The Pioneer Woman blog, online phenomenon such as Goodreads with its giveaways and quizzes and participating in Twitter chats on #yalitchat.  In addition, she referred to success in launching Albert Whitman Teen books and was able to make media placements on NPR and in the Wall Street Journal by reaching out to journalists through social media.  

She also mentioned online book pr tools: streaming video of events through and internet radio talk shows for audio samples of authors on

More on Social Media
by Susannah Greenberg

Top Social Media Include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Blogger, Wordpress, Instagram, Foursquare and Tumblr. These are the key ones. Get to know them. Spend time on these sites familiarizing yourself.  It will be an important investment of time. 

Each one has a unique character or personality to it, a unique mode of communication and type of following.  For instance, Facebook encourages connections between friends and socialization. Twitter is great for following trends.  LinkedIn is good for business contacts. Pinterest is good for visual interest and images. Mobile and location based services like Foursquare are on the rise.  Foursquare is based on gaming incentives. Also look at customer review sites like Yelp! and shopping sites like Amazon.  Look to photo sharing sites such as Flickr.  For books in particular, Amazon, and Goodreads, a social reading site, are especially important.  

Build your platforms early and attract your following.  Get liked. Get followed. Get linked.  All your social media platforms combined will raise your SEO (search engine optimization) so that people can find you or your book when they search for you or your topic online.  You cannot have too many social media platforms with regard to improving your SEO.  It may be too many to manage if you are a small company.  If so, pick three or four which are most important, most likely that would be Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Build your email lists from your social media sites for direct email to your audience later when you are ready to launch.  

In the process of reaching out, you will and you must find your community.  Find your niche.  Target the right media.  Microtarget.  Narrowcast. Find your most likely constituency first and build out from there to expand and grow your audience, your customers, your readers and book buyers.

Find your voice.  Be real.  Be responsive to feedback.  Look at your data for insights. Facebook offers insights on pages.  Google Analytics helps you analyze traffic. gives you detailed stats on how many page views your blog posts receive.

With regards to voice, remember that when you use social media for marketing and pr, you are speaking to more than one audience.  You are speaking to b2b and b2c, that is you are speaking to the trade, the customers, the media and the general public all at once.

It is and will be increasingly important for Book Producers and Literary Agents as part of a selling package to sell a book or project to a publisher to have the author and book platform and following established before the publisher buys the project. It is a marketing asset for the sale of the book.  It is equally important for book producers and agents and any independent entrepreneurs to build their own businesses through social media outlets and channels.  It is becoming how we do business.

Help yourself along in your social media efforts by having a social media campaign checklist and a timeline.  Plan ahead.  Stay with it.  Short but frequent efforts and consistency are important to keeping your community and followers engaged.

Integrate traditional and new media into your campaigns. As much as social media counts, so do traditional media outlets. Do not forget them!  NPR still counts.  So does the New York Times, the Today Show, CNN, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and MSNBC.  But now also look to online news web sites of import including the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Book Riot, The Millions, Gawker, The Daily Beast and more.  

Analyze and strategize.  Data is available quickly and for free. Look at Alexa web rankings to see how much traffic a web site gets.  Look at what is trending on Twitter to discover social trends.  If you are launching a campaign for your company, Google yourself, and search for yourself on Twitter.  See what comes up on Google.  See what people may be saying about you on Twitter. Look at the same for your competitors. Look at which pages have the most likes on Facebook in your areas of interest. Google keywords related to your subject matter.  Sign up for Google News Alerts on your subject matter.  Try out Google Analytics.  Look into free online services such as and which help you book mark and track visits and traffic on specific links you create.

Explore the possibilities of online advertising. Facebook advertising and Google Adwords,   for instance, are cheap, effective, targeted and easy to do compared with old school media advertising and the results are far easier to monitor. 

Keep up and keep learning about social media.  It changes almost daily. Expand your book trade reading from publications such as Publishers Weekly, Publishers Lunch, and GalleyCat, to include tech oriented publications such HuffPo Tech and Mashable. Read David Pogue's column in the New York Times. Follow the groups Digital Book World and Tools of Change.  Keep up with technology trends in terms of books pr and marketing and ebooks and apps.  Use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media to scan them for information on your trade as well.

Finally, remember that social media is only a tool.  Your expertise, experience and "real life" social networking are still critical to the life of your business and books. Do not undervalue your experience and knowledge when faced with the glories of the newfangled. You still must remember old rules such as have good ideas, be creative, write well, be succinct, and have an eye for design and aesthetics.  Also, remember that it is important to find good partners or team members to work with to complement the skills you have or don't have.


The #1 Top Social Media Marketing Book on Amazon:

In this book, Likeable, Kerpen notes how a book can be interactive and includes links (hyperlinks in the case of the ebook) where you can contact the author with questions and comments.  I clicked and contacted Mr. Kerpen through Facebook to let him know I'm reading his book and to thank him for it. He practices what he preaches with regards to responsiveness to customers through social media.  He wrote me back to thank me almost immediately! He also encouraged me to contact him with any questions I might have and asked me to write an Amazon review if I liked the book. Gracious, attentive, and also LIKEABLE marketing are all exemplified in this response I think.

Also of Interest:

Free: How Today's Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something for Nothing

by Chris Anderson

According to the Social Media Examiner Readers

The Top Marketing Sites for Social Media Marketing Trends

Sites, blogs, and newsletters for learning the latest about social media marketing trends.
1. Mashable earned the top spot with 82%
2. Techcrunch followed with 61%
3. AdAge earned the third spot with 54%
4. emarketer – 44%
5. Brandweek – 36%
6. MarketingProfs – 27%
7. SmartBrief for Social Media – 26%
8. Altimeter Group – 26%
9. MarketingSherpa – 21%
10 ClickZ – 20%

Susannah Greenberg thanks her co-panelists Sarah Christensen Fu of Hey, Sarah! and Matt Pantoliano of Simon & Schuster and the hosts of the event at the American Book Producers Association including the moderator Nancy Hall of Nancy Hall, Inc., a full service book producer, ABPA Board Member Valerie Tomaselli of MTM Publishing, also a book producer, and the President of the organization, book producer Richard Rothschild of Print Matters Inc.