BEA is quickly approaching and we at NetGalley are hard at work planning some fun promotions for our booth (#3718). More on that later.
But we’re also prepping for the Book Blogger Convention (at the end of BEA). I’m looking forward to being on the Technology for Blogging panel, and talking with all you bloggers!
The kind folks at the Book Blogger Con asked me to do a guest post, which ran today over on their blog. Since we all love to share great ideas, I’m posting it here too.
Follow the updates on Twitter @bookbloggercon and I hope to see you there!
Lindsey Rudnickas is the Digital Concierge at NetGalley, an online service and connection point for book publishers, reviewers, media, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and educators.
We could talk forever about the philosophy behind building book buzz and how that’s changed—and changing. Just as the entire news world is adapting in response to the popularity of online and social media, so is the job of the book publicist/marketer. The key, I think, is to be creative, open to new ideas, and willing to experiment.
So along those lines, I’ll keep from philosophizing and instead give some real-life examples of how we’ve seen NetGalley publishers being creative in their book buzz efforts.
Utilizing social influencers and Twitter:
We had a publisher partner with Klout to offer a digital preview copy of a highly anticipated title (via NetGalley) to 100 pre-selected key influencers on Twitter, in exchange for tweeting about the book to their followers. It was very cool for us to learn about what Klout does, and to see this publisher interacting with some of their biggest fans in a meaningful way. The concept of rewarding people who were both interested in that title and also influential in book circles is something more publishers could easily replicate in other ways (outside of Klout or Twitter).
Certainly, it pays to know your audience—and to use them to help spread buzz. And of course in your own Twitter efforts, it’s important to be focused in your messaging and tweet with relevance—we definitely try to! With a current Klout score of 57, @NetGalley is always looking to keep our audience engaged and extend our reach, and we appreciate your help! :)
Connecting with bloggers:
The idea of a blog tour can be immediately exciting to many authors and publicists who run into logistical hurtles when planning a traditional book tour (high costs for travel, coordinating special shipments of books to arrive in time, scheduling events with various stores all with their own full calendars, and bringing in a big enough audience at each venue to make it all worthwhile). How enticing an idea—to stay home (in your PJs if you feel like it!) and follow a schedule of virtual Q&As/interviews/guest posts directly with bloggers. We’ve seen how fast buzz can build and spread across dedicated book blogs, and we love to see publishers taking advantage. One publisher used NetGalley to promote a special campaign to bloggers to help spread the word about authors who were touring (both physically and virtually). In exchange for a blog post about the author, book, and tour, the blogger would receive an exclusive sneak peek of another forthcoming title via NetGalley. Win-win!
Engaging with online reading communities:
Publishers don’t have to look far to find pre-existing communities of dedicated readers who can’t wait to talk about the books they’re reading. Sites like LibraryThing and Goodreads are an awesome resource and a way to connect directly with fans. LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program in particular is a great tool that awards advance copies of books to LibaryThing members in exchange for a review. LibraryThing uses their special algorithm to match the most deserving readers with the right titles, and publishers benefit from all that pre-publication buzz. We love when publishers use NetGalley to make the process even easier (and environmentally friendly) by fulfilling those Early Reviewer copies digitally. Not only does this allow the LibraryThing member to read the title on their favorite device, but also keeps the publisher from being restricted to only offering as many printed galleys as they have left in their office.
They can even have the best of both worlds—offer some print galleys and then fulfill the second-tier of requests with digital galleys. We saw another publisher do this with a trade advertising campaign: through a trade newsletter ad (like Shelf Awareness, PW Daily, etc), the publisher collected requests for a particular galley. When they ran out of printed galleys to send, they provided an auto-approved link to view that galley via NetGalley instead. We loved to see how many more readers were given access to the galley because the publisher utilized the digital option, too.
Plugging into the NetGalley community:
Here’s the shameless plug portion of this post! With the new “NetGalley Features” newsletters, publishers are promoting their forthcoming titles to professional readers (reviewers, bloggers, media, librarians, booksellers, and educators) who have expressed interest in that genre. NetGalley members who love Romance titles are excited to hear about the newest romance galleys that have just become available, and publishers benefit from tapping into their pre-existing reading preferences. Plus, we announce which galleys were the Most Requested from that each newsletter—just as you can sort our entire catalog of galleys by Most Requested.
Those are just a few recent examples that caught our eye and made us smile—but we’re always open to new ideas! We thrive on finding new ways to incorporate digital galleys into buzz campaigns and are continually inspired by publishers and bloggers alike.