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It’s Time To Start Using “The Social Media Revolution” To Your Advantage
Social media has become so popular that if Facebook were a country it would be the third-largest country in the world and 100,000 tweets were sent every minute of every day in 2012, according to a shocking infographic.
If you’re an author, you really can’t afford to miss out on harnessing the incredible power behind those numbers. Readers are sharing content online in record numbers and the best way to build a dedicated audience is to connect with them on the sites they’re already using. READ MORE
Here’s How To Successfully Use Social Media At An Author Event
Last night, author Hilary Reyl read an excerpt from her new book Lessons In French to a packed room at McNally Jackson Books. The reading itself was a great event but February Partners used social media, namely Instagram and related outlets, to really take user experience to the next level.
Pictures and video are a great way to connect with your fans, especially when you’re hosting an event that not everyone can attend. Posting pictures to Instagram, and then cross posting them to Twitter and Facebook, lets readers feel like they are experiencing the reading and signing right along with you, which creates a great connection between you and your readers.
Here are the tricks we used last night to make Hilary’s reading a social media success. Hopefully they help at your next author event!
-Create a personalized hashtag for the event. Last night, we tagged every picture with the hashtag #HilaryReylreading. A personalized hashtag lets readers easily search for pictures from the event. READ MORE
February Partners in the WSJ!
February Partners’ Dee Dee DeBartlo was quoted in Jeffery Trachtenberg’s June 24, 2012 WSJ article Giving Book Readers A Say about Seth Godin’s Kickstarter campaign.
“You have to go direct to consumers today because it’s gotten harder to get attention from general media,” said Dee Dee De Bartlo, a principal in the marketing and publicity firm February Partners. She herself is taking a direct approach in marketing a new title from Rodale Press, “The Starch Solution,” which preaches the benefits of a plant-based diet. Her firm is targeting self-proclaimed vegans on Facebook.
Ms. De Bartlo thinks Mr. Godin’s hybrid approach may appeal to other authors. “It’s hard to convince publishers to take on some authors unless you can prove you have a fan base,” she said. “This is one way to do it.”
Yesterday, Dee Dee and I moderated a panel at Book Expo America on how to host a great author event. We were joined by a fantastic group of panelists: Vivian Jennings, Owner of Rainy Day Books; Stephanie Anderson, Manager of WORD; and Andrew Kahan, Director of Author Events at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Tweet This-Not That! talk at Book Expo America! You can click HERE to view the full slideshow.
Bestseller Book Party!
We’re so proud of our current bestselling authors, Kathy Freston and Dr. Dale Archer.
Last night the stunning Wendi Murdoch and the impressive Arianna Huffington hosted a star-studded book party for Kathy Freston and her book The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30 Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss at her gorgeous loft in Chelsea. It was amazing to see the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Mort Zuckerman, Tina Brown, Martha Stewart, Diane Sawyer and Harvey Weinstein all in the same room. Celebrity chef Katie Lee was there looking like a young Allie McGraw. Nanette Lapore and Tori Burch mingled with hip hop historian Fab 5 Freddy Braithwaite.
I caught up with Joe Klein, author of one of my favorite books, Primary Colors. He said, “You look familiar.” I laughed. I was an intern at New York Magazine in college when he was the politics writer there. That was in 1991! I guess he has a good memory for faces.
Talking to Joe Klein was JOEL Klein. I was very happy to meet the former New York City Schools Chancellor. He kindly contributed an eloquent forward to the upcoming February Books title Getting to Bartlett Street. We bonded over our mutual admiration for the authors of the book, Joe and Carol Reich.
I was also happy to finally meet Weinstein Books’ new publishing director Georgina Levitt. How young and impressive she is! She has a great future in this business. Also, I got to put face to name with the legendary Fauzia Burke. We’d never met in person as she is based in New Jersey. But what a lovely soul. She has been doing online marketing for publishers for 15 years! Since the beginning, really.
We also caught up with our pal Maggie Sivon who is now the lead publicist at Amazon Publishing New York. We’re so proud of our old colleague.
It was a night to remember.
Announcing February Books!
We’re happy to announce February Books, our new independent book publishing company and off shoot of our marketing and publicity firm.
February Books is our response to an overwhelming need for a home for great books and authors that have fallen through the cracks and haven’t been able to find their way in the traditional publishing world. Our first two books, Getting to Bartlett Street and Obama Karma, fit this model perfectly. Getting to Bartlett Street: Our 25-Year Quest to Level the Playing Field in Education is by Joe and Carol Reich, founders of the first “charter-like” school in the country.
The school, Beginning with Children, was located in what was then called the “Dead Zone” of Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the old headquarters of Pfizer. Since then, Joe and Carol Reich have opened another charter school and started a foundation to support the schools and create a vibrant alumni network. They have a truly amazing story. But despite their deep connections in the New York City business and political worlds, Joe and Carol Reich could not sell their book to a traditional publisher. When they came to us, they were down but not beaten. And Joe Reich came out and asked us point blank: “Can you publish our book?” Dee Dee and I kind of hemmed and hawed and explained that we weren’t publishers, we’re publicists. Joe Reich, who was a pioneer in the money market mutual funds back in the 80s, pointed out that everything is changing in the publishing world, so why can’t we just give it a try. We knew he was right. There are millions of amazing stories out there and, as the traditional publishing industry shrinks and transforms, so many great books cannot find a home.
Then Russell Razzaque, the author of Obama Karma: Lessons on Living Inspired by the 44th President, called us one day out of the blue from his home in London. He had an agent in London who had tried to sell his book and could not. The book uses President Obama as a model for readers who would like to improve their own emotional intelligence. With the election coming up, Dr. Razzaque was nervous that if he couldn’t sell his book in time to take advantage of the election, his hard work would be for nothing. We read Obama Karma and we thought it was truly special. We vowed to help Dr. Razzaque get his book out there and connect with readers who will be fascinated by this very original take on a self-help book. So we decided, on a limited basis, to publish some books ourselves under the umbrella of February Books.We do not pay advances, we don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, and we still encourage every author to try to find an agent and a traditional publisher as we feel the advantages to publishing with a large publisher are tremendous. But we’re very excited to be able to offer great authors and their work a path to publishing and the opportunity to connect with readers who will appreciate their work.
HuffingtonPost: What Authors Can Learn from Politicians
Post originally appeared in the Huffington Post 1/27/ 2012. Here is the link.
As weird as this may sound coming from a book publicist, I’ve always looked to politics as the ultimate model for what I do. Think about it. Politicians can’t get elected without a dedicated audience. Authors can’t sell books without a dedicated audience. Politicians must introduce themselves to their audience and do the hard work to keep their loyalty. Same with authors. Many of the tactics that politicians use to build their audience can be applied to selling books. Politicians know this: look how many of them have books for sale AT THE SAME TIME that they’re running for office. It’s an easy way to spread their message and pocket some extra cash along the way. Authors can follow some of the same steps as politicians in building their audience. Here are some of tactics from Politics 101 that translate particularly well. 1) Determine your public persona. What’s your narrative? What is your argument? Politicians need to make an argument as to why they should be elected. They need to get their stump speech down. This takes trial and error and lots of practice. Politicians have handlers and strategists who work closely with them coaching them on messages that resonate with their target audience. Authors need to make use of family, friends, and their publishing team to get their message right. I tell authors to come up with a list of questions and practice answering them with their spouse, friend, or mother. Practice in front of the mirror. In conversations about your book with those people, do other questions come up that you haven’t thought of? Add them to your list and keep practicing! You should feel totally comfortable answering any and all questions. Then work on your look. You should have a great outfit (or two!) that suits you well, an attractive hairstyle, good make-up (men too!). Everyone needs to wear make up on TV even if they have a nice tan. READ MORE
How Authors Can Use Pinterest
Pinterest, a year old social pinboarding site, allows you to create digital pinboards and share them with friends, colleagues, and strangers. I’ve become a little obsessed with it since a graphic designer friend sent me an invite about 6 months ago. If you’re anything like me and endlessly cut out pages from the latest Anthropolgie catalog or constantly email yourself images from Apartment Therapy -you’ll also love this site!
Along with Pinterest’s use in home design (at least for me!) it can be extremely helpful for authors when working with their publisher and/or graphic designer to concept a jacket design. Pinboards are an excellent way to organize your thoughts and see patterns in what type of covers and images appeal to you.
When advising authors on Facebook, one of the first things I encourage them to do is migrate their Facebook profile into a fan page. What migration essentially does is convert their current friends into fans. Those new to Facebook are happy to do this, but those who are committed Facebookers are always hesitant. They don’t want to “lose” their friends and the ability to interact with them. I completely understand their concern.
If you fall into the latter category, you need to ask yourself “How many of those 100+ or 500+ friends would I invite over for dinner?” The answer is normally around 25. Now, write down their names and save that list-you’ll need that later.
Now, I promise you there is no need to worry! The reasons to migrate from a Facebook profile to a Facebook fan page are simple:
1) No limit on # of fans. Many authors don’t know this, but Facebook has set a limit to the amount of friends you can have. This limit is 5,000. If you really want to grow a fan base you have to migrate.