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Posts Tagged ‘#followreader’

With all the focus on shiny (or, to be more accurate – black and white) devices this week, it’s easy to be distracted from the bigger picture goals for publishers: such as getting to know readers and what they really think about e-reading. In our small attempt to retrain the focus on what really matters, today’s #FollowReader will be all about – the reader! We have the great fortune to be joined by Kelly Gallagher of Bowker (@DiscoverBowker) who will preview some of the latest findings from the Book Industry Study Group’s ongoing consumer study, Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading and offer some insight about what’s going on beyond the hype of press releases and talk shows.

So, join us today at 4pm EDT for some fascinating conversation about book consumers’ actual interests in and preferences for digital content, and the factors that influence reading habits and purchasing decisions.

Kelly Gallagher of Bowker

About Kelly Gallagher
Kelly Gallagher is the Vice President of Publishing Services at RR Bowker. In this role he manages the implementation of a host of Bowker business intelligence and supply chain products including exclusive sales data reporting tools and EDI ordering for the Canadian, Higher Education, and US Christian markets. This business unit also manages a consumer research panel surveying over 36,000 consumers on media behaviors and purchase trends. Prior to joining Bowker, Kelly served as the Vice President of Business Development at the Christian Publishers Association for six years. In this role he managed the development and implementation of industry initiatives including research, technology and supply chain management. Kelly also serves the book publishing industry as the Research Chair for the Book Industry Study Group.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation today, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

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Special Guest Host(ess) Kassia Krozser Leads #FollowReader Chat with Guest Kevin Smokler this Thursday at 4pm ET

This week’s #FollowReader chat will be even more special than usual. That’s because not only will we have a fabulous guest – one Kevin Smokler (@weegee) of BookTour.com, but we will also have a fabulous guest host: BookSquare.com’s Kassia Krozser (@booksquare).

With the combined wondertwin “K” powers of Kassia and Kevin, you guys are in for a huge treat. The chat is largely in celebration of BookTour.com’s relaunch, but is more so a chance for authors, publicists and readers to talk about how books and readers are connecting, and ways to facilitate that connection. If you know Kassia and Kevin, you know this will no doubt be a fun-, and info-filled #FollowReader hour.

BookTour.com's @weegee

About Kevin Smokler
Kevin Smokler is an author, journalist, speaker and entrepreneur. He’s the editor of the anthology Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (Basic Books, June 2005), which was a San Francisco Chronicle notable book of 2005. His writing has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Times, Fast Company, and on National Public Radio.

In 2007, Kevin Smokler founded with Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine) BookTour.com, the world’s largest online directory of author and literary events. Kevin now serves as the company’s CEO, regularly speaking at publishing industry conferences and book festivals throughout North America. In April of 2008, Amazon purchased a minority stake in BookTour.com.

About Kassia Krozser

BookSquare.com's @BookSquare

Kassia Krozser has seen the future and it is good: more people are reading and writing than ever before. She knows that, unlike the dinosaurs, smart people in the publishing business can adapt to changing economics and reader behavior. Kassia dissects this world with love and skepticism at booksquare.com.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation on Thursday, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

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While the paper versus plastic battle continues to wage between purists from both sides, a newer, and more complex “discussion” seems to be rearing its hydra-like head lately: What is the right way to read e? This question/argument has also been phrased as, “what is the right way to “publish” (design, format, distribute) e-content?

Truth is (Kat’s truth, anyways), just as in the paper v. plastic kerfuffle, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the “best ebook reading experience” debate. Some folks roll like Dragnet: they want “just the text, ma’am.” Give them a scrollable, legible font, in a clean and easy-to-use format, and they’re in ebook nirvana.

Some people want bells and whistles and interactive experiences.  For these folks, incorporating gaming, and videos and social sharing into the e-reading experience goes without saying. You can have it all, so why wouldn’t you?

And, then there are a growing number of hep cats that want to replicate the booky-book experience digitally. Their holy ereading grail is a digital book read that immerses them in the psychological/emotional equivalent of a physical book read.

Of course, sometimes some of these people swap allegiances – the straight text Dragnet types will get suckered in by the offer of a free enhanced book app; or the have-it-all bells and whistles ereading folks will find themselves enjoying the relative calm of a no-distractions read — demonstrating once again, that the future of reading isn’t just about digital, and the future of digital isn’t just about one kind of digital. We are vast. We contain bookish multitudes.

All of this being a long way round to the introduction of tomorrow’s #FollowReader discussion topic: What does ereading done right mean to you (or, as a publisher, what does epublishing right mean to you)? Are you a fan of one particluar style of ebook? Are you promiscuous when it comes to your ereading habits? Would you rather gouge out your eyes than trade your Kindle in for an iPad?  Well, we want to know!

@EdNawotka

By we, I mean me and our special super wonderful guest for the hour, Publishing Perspective‘s Ed Nawotka, and all the other friendly folks who participate in #FollowReader.

So, join us on Twitter tomorrow (THURSDAY JULY 1) at 4pm EDT sharp for an online talk about what it means to read e.

Almost All About Ed

Ed Nawotka is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, an online magazine for the international publishing industry that has been called “the BBC of the book world.”

Prior to launching Publishing Perspectives, he worked as book columnist for Bloomberg News and daily news editor of Publishers Weekly.

He has also served as the literary director of the Texas Book Festival, a judge for various book awards, and has worked as a foreign correspondent, a bookseller, literary magazine editor and advertising copywriter.

As a journalist he has reported from more than 30 countries. He continues to be a widely published freelance writer, with his work regularly appearing in publications across the United States, as well as overseas.

Ed’s reviews, essays and reporting have appeared in The New Yorker, The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, Los Angeles Times, Budget Travel, New Statesman, USA Today, and People, among others.

He has appeared as a guest on various television and radio programs, including those on NPR, PRI, BBC, and C-SPAN, and has lectured at numerous universities and institutions.

You can find him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Or write to him directly.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation on Thursday, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

Looking forward to chatting with you!

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On today’s #FollowReader Twittersation, we’ll be joined by Heather McCormack (@HMcCormack), Book Review Editor of Library Journal. Heather’s article (“Patrons Are Consumers, and Consumers Are Patrons; or, How Publishers Can Learn To Stop Worrying and Love Libraries Again”) on the Tools of Change blog has become a jumping off point for a larger discussion about how publishers and libraries can work together and create a win/win for everyone — including readers!

Among questions we will address:

  • Do libraries provide marketing opportunities for publishers, or are they siphoning away potential book buyers?
  • Should ebooks be treated differently than paper books when it comes to library lending?
  • Is it a good idea for U.S. libraries to go to a system such as that in the U.K., where micro-royalties are paid to publishers for each lent title?
  • Would the “Brigadoon Library,” (required reading! click on that link and go read Tim’s article – it’s chock full of interesting ideas and good information on the library/publisher relationship) as proposed by Tim Spalding (@librarythingTim) of Library Thing. Also go and read this handy list that Tim compiled.

I encourage everyone: readers, publishers, librarians, those who have an interest in the industry, to join in the conversation tomorrow. Should be interesting.

To join the #followreader conversation, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today,  log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

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As National Library Week comes to a close amidst less than celebratory news of threats to community and school libraries, and a somewhat sobering “State of America’s Libraries Report 2010” (summary: “Recession drives more Americans to libraries in search of employment resources; but funding lags demand.”), now seemed the perfect time to have a Bookish Tweeps Virtual Town Hall about how important libraries are, and what we can do to make sure they get the love they need.

No guest this week – or, I should say — you all are the special guests. Come armed with information and opinions. As always, I will try my best to guide the conversation, and maybe we can make a difference. (Or at least motivate one another to do so).

To join the #followreader conversation, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today,  log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

Read Full Post »

Little announcement to make. Nothing too drastic, but I’ll be posting less frequently here (please spare me the jokes about whether or not that is possible), as I’ve got a new gig working for O’Reilly Media as the Community Manager for their Tools of Change conference and related efforts.

Since I can’t possibly stay away from our #FollowReader sessions (no matter how hard I try – and I have tried), I will still be swapping out hosting duties with Charlotte on a bi-weekly basis for those.

Today she’s hosting. She’s got Firebrand Technology/NetGalley’s Fran Toolan on tap for today’s discussion. No doubt she’ll have many great questions for him about the future of books – or the content previously known as books. So tune in. I’ll be there! 4pm ET today.

And, check me out over at the TOC blog. I’ll be posting there frequently. Really really frequently — and when I’m not posting, I’ll be curating posts. And all of it will probably be of some interest to you Follow the Reader fans. At least I hope so!

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As the digital landscape evolves into subject areas with their own distinctive topographies and constituencies, some publishers have begun developing their own online “reader communities,” as a part of their long term marketing strategy for their books, authors and imprints.

One trailblazer in this area is social media consultant and web programmer Jesse McDougall, who I first met at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change conference in 2009, where he was clearly more evolved in his thinking on this topic than the other independent publishers in attendance that year.

Read on for the first installment in my two- part interview with Jesse – about the art and science of building reader communities.

Jesse McDougall in a nutshell: 

  • Current position: consulting under his own shingle at Catalyst Webworks—a web development and social media consulting firm in White River Junction, VT. Check out his blog here.
  • Biggest client to date: Chelsea Green Publishing, for whom he developed a web site redesign and online marketing strategies (for more details, see my Publishers Weekly article on how publishers use Twitter).
  • Recent star turns: at Tools of Change 2010, ran a social media workshop; at Digital Book World, appeared on my panel about Building Publisher Communities; and was a guest on our weekly #followreader chat on Twitter (recapped here)
  • Credits: author of Expand Your Business Using eBay and Start Your Own Blogging Business.

Questions for Jesse

What does online outreach to reader communities have in common with traditional book marketing, and how does it differ?

Books are social creations. They are borrowed, shared, recommended, and discussed in the physical world every day. Publishers send authors out to book signings, interviews, and speaking engagements in the hopes of bringing together like-minded book fans to ignite discussion and spark a hopefully-lively word-of-mouth campaign. The goal of marketing books online is no different. Social media platforms and new content recommendation tools not only make these digital communities possible, but they also increase the speed and range of the word-of-mouth campaigns ten-thousand times over. That means a person attending a digital webinar by an author has the ability to tell and invite 300+ friends with the click of a mouse, where a person attending a real-world seminar only tells his friends in town, and maybe only an out-of-work cousin can make it.

One of Chelsea Green’s most successful campaigns was to run a weekly contest on Twitter. This brief and easy 10-minute contest drew 40-50 people every week, and through them we were able to contact a total of 15,000+ people with links to our website. That exponential potential isn’t possible in traditional marketing.

In your work with Chelsea Green and other clients, what steps have you taken to build focused audiences within specific subject categories on the Web?

The internet is organizing itself into crowds. People are seeking out and aligning themselves with like-minded people. Home gardeners are finding other home gardeners, motorcyclists are finding other motorcyclists, and so on. These groups of people are taking part in conversations that can span all the major (and some niche) social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

The first step is to examine the niches in which you publish. Once you’ve got a clear idea of the audience (or audiences) you’d like to reach, you must seek them out online. For example, there may be thousands of stay-at-home mothers talking on Twitter for the quick interactions it allows, but very few of them visit YouTube because they don’t have time for a 4-minute video.

Find your audience—wherever they are—and listen to them. Join their groups, or feed, or page, and listen to them. Join the conversation only once you’ve got a clear idea of the conversation and etiquette. Add value to the conversation by offering friendly expertise from your books—when and where appropriate—with a link to find more. Do not offer sales pitches. The content should sell itself.

Over time, your participation in the discussion should come to be seen as valuable, and therefore folks will pass along the content you provide.

How do you evaluate whether or not your efforts are paying off?

One of the most exciting aspects of online marketing—and something that I think spoils us for untrackable offline campaigns—is the ability to gather information about the audience. Most social media networks and blog software has the ability to display demographic and location information about the people choosing to participate in your online efforts.

For example, if, after reviewing your audience statistics, you find that your Facebook page is trafficked by women in their 40 without kids at 4PM, you can tailor your Facebook efforts to suit that audience. Perhaps you’ll post more information from books designed for that audience. Or, you might run a contest on the page at 4PM.

The data a publisher can collect about the people engaging with their book content is one of the main benefits to participating in social media—second only to the exposure to new potential customers. The social strategy should be, after all, focused on meeting and learning about your ideal audience.

Part Two of this interview is here.

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