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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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We interrupt this public service blog for an announcement from our sponsor, NetGalley…

When I recently announced that NetGalley had reached the milestone of 5,000 registered members, I promised more info about our community of professional readers – who they are, how they read, etc. The data below was drawn from internal statistics on our site as well as a recent online survey answered by over 655 NetGalley members.

Who they are

As you might expect, the biggest community using NetGalley is reviewers – including bloggers and print reviewers – making up about 50% of total registered members. The remaining 50% is a mix of librarians, booksellers, educators, and media.

How they read

Though nostalgia for printed books and galleys remains high on blogs, twitter discussions and in other venues, our members are inclined to read digitally if it means faster access to new titles. A whopping 71% see “quick access to new galleys” as the biggest draw to digital galleys. And well over three-quarters of the respondents will read either print or digital galleys, with only 12% responding “I will only read print galleys.”

Also mirroring wider trends in reading devices, just over 60% read galleys by downloading them to their computer. As for dedicated reading devices, Amazon’s Kindle was the winner at 16%. The Sony Reader was next in line at 12%, with Barnes & Noble’s new Nook at only 5%.

NOTE: We conducted our survey before the iPad hit stores. In addition, the iPad currently does not support DRM-ed (protected) files – so the only galleys from NetGalley that can be read on that device are galleys that the publishers are offering as DRM-free (open) files. To date, the majority of galleys offered on NetGalley come with DRM; logically, since most publishers do not want pre-pub files distributed. More on this topic in a later post.

Why they like digital galleys

After quick access to new galleys, our members appreciate digital galleys for what they can provide that print galleys can’t: mainly,

  • Being able to “read on the go” (49%)
  • Searchability inside the galley (34%)
  • Full-color reading and images (25%)

In the age of immediacy, when news becomes old before it even makes it to print (thanks, Twitter!), being able to email a direct link to a digital galley is a pretty awesome tool in the publicist’s tool belt.

It also makes sense that the ease of skimming and searching digital galleys makes them attractive to professional readers who may not need to read the entire text – like TV/radio producers looking for experts and journalists writing off-the-book-page-features.

In addition, most professional readers don’t have early access to four-color pre-pub materials for illustrated and graphic-heavy books (like cookbooks, children’s titles, etc) – meaning that professional readers might not otherwise see these titles (or only see a few pages in BLADs) before they arrive in stores.

A Book Critic’s View

During a recent chat with book critic Bethanne Patrick (the host of WETA.org’s Book Studio, who we’ve interviewed in the past, known to her fellow tweeters as @TheBookMaven), I got a few more insights on the advantages of digital galleys. Bethanne said she loves how digital galleys allow her to preview a book, to see if she’d even want the printed galley. When bookshelf space is at a premium for reviewers, she appreciates getting an email from a publicist with a link to the digital galley that says “take a look and let me know if you want a printed galley.”

Bethanne also sees value in the one-stop-shopping aspect of NetGalley:

  • When she decides she wants a printed galley after viewing the digital version, she can just hit the EMAIL PUBLISHER button right in the title record in NetGalley.
  • She can also access the Digital Press Kit materials – where publishers can include the press release, tour schedule, author Q&A, audio/video clips, cover images, etc.
  • By sending her reviews to publishers via NetGalley, she hopes to appease publicists who still ask for tear-sheets of reviews.

Finally, Bethanne added that even when she had read an entire galley in printed form, she still liked to have a digital copy while writing her review. That way, she could quickly find a certain page or passage in a window alongside her review, without having to take off/put on her glasses while switching from the printed page to her computer screen. It’s the little things, right?

I’m excited that support of digital galleys is growing and—best of all—publishers and readers alike are finding new ways and reasons to appreciate the format.

As always, I’m open to any and all feedback – we love hearing from you!

All best,

Lindsey Rudnickas

your friendly Digital Concierge at NetGalley

Follow me on Twitter: @NetGalley

Become a fan of our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/NetGalley

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It’s almost that time, when bookish folk flock to the largest publishing event in North America: BookExpo America (BEA)/ Twitter @BookExpoAmerica. This year BEA is at the Jacob K. Javits Center in NYC Tuesday, May 25 – Thursday, May 27. NetGalley will be at BEA, so stop by and say hello — we’re part of the Firebrand Technologies booth #3905.

We’ve got a fun way for you to get a sneak peek at new books! See below for our NetGalley BEA Buzz Schedule (taking place all day Wed and Thurs). We’ll demo a new title on NetGalley, show you how to get it on your favorite e-reader, and “pitch” the book itself so you can see where all the buzz begins. Check out which titles publicists have selected as potential breakout releases!

The best part is if you watch our demo, you’ll be among the first to view the galley on NetGalley after the show — with an invite from the publisher to download the galley and read it in full. Plus, select titles are available to request on NetGalley NOW if you’d like to get a jump-start on your reading!

So check out (and request) the NetGalley BEA Buzz titles here, mark your calendars, and we’ll see you at the show!

NetGalley BEA Buzz Schedule

WEDNESDAY MAY 26 @ NetGalley booth #3905

  • 10:00 AM: The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors

A Novel
By Michele Young-Stone
The Crown Publishing Group @CrownPublishing
Pub Date: April 2010

  • 10:30 AM: Truly, Madly, Deadly

The Unofficial True Blood Companion
By Becca Wilcott
ECW Press @ecwpress
Pub Date: June 2010

  • 11:00 AM: THE BELLY FAT CURE™ FAST TRACK

By Jorge Cruise
Hay House, Inc
Pub Date: December 29, 2010

  • 11:30 AM: Harvest to Heat

Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans
By Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer
The Taunton Press @tauntonmktg
Pub Date: October 2010

  • 12:00 PM: Around My French Table

More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
By Dorie Greenspan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt @hmhbooks
Pub Date: October 2010

  • 1:00 PM: Outside the Ordinary World

By Dori Ostermiller
Harlequin @HarlequinBooks
Pub Date: August 2010

  • 1:30 PM: Billie Girl

By Vickie Weaver
Leapfrog Press
Pub Date: September 2010

  • 2:00 PM: The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit

A Step-by-Step Legal Guide
By Peri Pakroo, J.D.
NOLO @NoloLibrary
Pub Date: May 2010

  • 4:00 PM: Safe From the Sea

By Peter Geye
Unbridled Books @unbridledbooks
Pub Date: September 2010

THURSDAY MAY 27 @ NetGalley booth #3905

  • 10:00 AM: Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

By Russell A. Barkley, PhD
Guilford Press @GuilfordPsych
Pub Date: August 2010

  • 11:00 AM: Vestments

By John Reimringer
Milkweed Editions @Milkweed_Books
Pub Date: September 2010

  • 11:30 AM: Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married

By Gary Chapman
Moody Publishers @moodybooks
Pub Date: September 2010

  • 12:00 PM: Simple Secrets

The Harmony Series, Book One
By Nancy Mehl
Barbour Publishing @BarbourBuzz
Pub Date: June 2010

  • 2:00 PM: Desserts 4 Today

By Abigail Johnson Dodge
The Taunton Press @tauntonmktg
Pub Date: September 2010

  • 2:30 PM: Deadline Man

By Jon Talton
Poisoned Pen Press
Pub Date: May 2010

NetGalley BEA Buzz Schedule (grid)

WEDNESDAY MAY 26 @ NetGalley booth #3905
10:00 AM The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors Crown Publishing Group Pub Date: April 2010
10:30 AM Truly, Madly, Deadly ECW Press Pub Date: June 2010
11:00 AM THE BELLY FAT CURE™ FAST TRACK Hay House, Inc Pub Date: December 29, 2010
11:30 AM Harvest to Heat The Taunton Press Pub Date: October 2010
12:00 PM Around My French Table Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Pub Date: October 2010
1:00 PM Outside the Ordinary World Harlequin Pub Date: July 2010
1:30 PM Billie Girl Leapfrog Press Pub Date: September 2010
2:00 PM The Women’s Small Business Start-Up Kit NOLO Pub Date: May 2010
4:00 PM Safe From the Sea Unbridled Books Pub Date: September 2010
THURSDAY MAY 27 @ NetGalley booth #3905
10:00 AM Taking Charge of Adult ADHD Guilford Press Pub Date: August 2010
11:00 AM Vestments Milkweed Editions Pub Date: September 2010
11:30 AM Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married Moody Publishers Pub Date: September 2010
12:00 PM Simple Secrets Barbour Publishing Pub Date: June 2010
2:00 PM Desserts 4 Today The Taunton Press Pub Date: September 2010
2:30 PM Deadline Man Poisoned Pen Press Pub Date: May 2010

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Firebrand is thrilled to announce that 44 bloggers signed up to be at our booth (#4077) during Book Expo America.  It’s clear from how quickly this idea went from concept to reality, that book bloggers need and want to create community-to-community relationships with publishers, retailers, and readers. This is an incredibly exciting time in publishing!

We invite every publisher at BEA to review this schedule and mark their calendars, so they have a chance to meet the bloggers who are helping to sell their books.

The schedule is below. We have a couple of new entries (Sarah Weinman, Ed Champion, and Austin Allen) not listed below, or if you have trouble reading the layout below, Click Here

Friday, May 29th

10am

The Book Maven Bethanne Patrick Books, Publishing, Current Events
Presenting Lenore Lenore Appelhans YA, General Fiction Reviews

11am

Follow the Reader Charlotte Abbott,    Kat Meyer Professional Readers, Publishing Trends
Maw Books Natasha Maw Childrens, YA, Middle Grade, Adult, Author Interviews

12pm

GalleyCat Jason Boog Publishing, Technology
Tools of Change for Publishing Andrew Savikas Publishing, Technology, Social Media

1pm

Books on the Nightstand Ann Kingman, Michael Kindness Books, Publishing, From a publisher perspective
Beatrice.com Ron Hogan Books & Writers

2pm

Booksquare Kassia Krozser Books, Publishing, Technology, Social Media
Jenn’s Bookshelf Jennifer Lawrence Books – All Genres

3pm

The Swivet Colleen Lindsay Agenting, Publishing, General Blogging
Book Club Girl Jennifer Hart Books, Publishing,

4pm

Booking Mama Julie Peterson Books, Book Clubs, Authors
My Friend Amy Amy Riley Literary, Women’s, Christian, Historical
The Friendly Book Nook Amy Riley Kids, Middle Grade, YA Reviews,  Mysteries

Saturday, May 30th

10am

Beth Fish Reads Candace  Levy Reviewer, Book Professional
Pop Culture Junkie Alea Adou YA Books, Chick Lit, Graphic Novels
She is Too Fond of Books Dawn Rennert Reviews, Author interviews, Publishing

11am

Hey Lady! Watcha Readin’? Trish Collins Reviews, Author interviews, Publishing
Reviewer X Stephanie Leite YA Books
My Cozy Book Nook Molly Totaro British Classics, Contemporary Literature, Mysteries

12pm

Book Reviews by Jess Jessica Kennedy Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and YA books
Smart Bitches Trashy Books Sarah Wendell Romance

1pm

Personanondata Michael Cairns Publishing, Technology, Social Media
Sharon Loves Cats Sharon Somers YA Books
Janicu’s book blog Janice Y Urban Fantasy, Romance, Suspense, YA books

2pm

Book Blogger Panel Hosted by Jennifer Hart
Room 1E15

3pm

The Big Picture Laura Dawson Publishing, Technology, Social Media
The Olive Reader Erica Barmash Books, Publishing, From a Publisher perspective
Literary License Gwen Dawson Contemporary Literary Fiction, Int’l Fiction/Translations

4pm

Stephanie’s Written Word Stephanie Coleman-Chan Contemporary, Historical, YA Fiction,  some Fantasy, Memoirs
Bookrastination Jay Franco Comics, Sci-Fi, Publishing Professional
Every Day I Write the Book Gayle Weiswasser Current Fiction

Sunday, May 31st

10am

Reading the Past Sarah Johnson Historical Fiction
Literary Kicks Levi Asher Literary Fiction, Poetry

11am

Wands and Worlds Sheila Ruth Juvenile, YA, Fantasy and Sci-Fi
Mother Reader Pam Coughlan Kid Lit, YA

12pm

Teleread Paul Biba ebooks, epublishing – News, Commentary, Analysis
Laura’s Review Book Shelf Laura McCarthy YA, General Fiction, Paranormal Romance

1pm

The Tome Traveller’s Weblog Carey Anderson Historical Fiction
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind Sarah Weinman Crime and Mystery Fiction
The Bat Segundo Show Edward Champion Culture and Literary Podcast
2pm
The Abbeville Manual of Style
Austin Allen
Arts + Culture, Literary Fiction, Book Industry Commentary

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mistakes1[A little note from Kat about this post: The other day I kind of let Amazon have it because they are Twitter-phobic. I was quick and harsh to judge them, when I should have been understanding and reached out to offer my help. Maybe they just don't "get" the technological nuances of Social Media. Maybe they are just overwhelmed with their many other high-quality customer service efforts. In addition, it must be difficult for a company of Amazon's size to find the resources to put into learning and executing Social Media Strategies. So - feel free to think of this post as my apology to you, Amazon... It isn't, but feel free to think of it that way.]

Isn’t technology great?

With the touch of a button, we can reach out to almost anyone, almost anywhere. And that’s something that as book markteer (and sometimes publicist), you’d think I couldn’t be more pleased about.

And I am — in theory.

It’s when attempting to put the theory of new media marketing and publicity into practice that I occasionally run into trouble.

New Media book PR is a whole new ball game–complete with new equipment and new tools, and lacking any established rules.

As a result, people on both the pitching and receiving sides of this new game are facing all kinds of hurdles and frustrations.  Even “Twitter-Happy-Go-Lucky” me has more than my share of social media mis-steps every day of my book pitching week. So, sit back and I’ll share with you a day in the average book publicist’s life.

First of all, lets get something straight. There’s this perception that being a book publicist is all about long lunches, early happy hours, and fabulous book parties – but it’s just not so. Personally, I blame those eyeball hungry sensationalists Ron Hogan and Jason Boog over at GalleyCat for posting all those festive book party pictures rather than more realistic portrayals of book PR. (Though, I suppose no one really wants to be subjected to photos of anxiety-ridden publicists stuffing books into cardboard boxes at 4:45 while the Fed Ex guy looks on disapprovingly. ;))

No, the sad truth of the matter is, book PR is mostly work. Sometimes it’s fun and rewarding work, but it is quite often a lot of plain old fashioned hard work. For the average book publicist, her  day is spent planning and managing multiple events for multiple current authors; making sure books and people are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be; dealing with the day to day endless and mandatory meetings about production schedules and acquisitions and budgets; and placing and returning a bazillion (yes, a bazillion — I counted) phone calls and emails.

These phone calls and emails are usually to  a bazillion media contacts that may, or may not still be working at the same outlet doing the same job they were last week when she pulled her media list, but hey, that’s part of the game.

Oh, wait.

How could we forget? The game has changed. It’s all new, remember?

So, now it’s the age of the Internet, and blogs, and Facebook, and Twitter, and whatever other social networking app just sprung up while I was writing that last sentence. And now, on top of the work that was already too much to handle, your friendly neighborhood PR maven has to figure out:

  • If her audience of core readers for a particular title is using Facebook or MySpace or Twitter or blogging or reading blogs; and…
  • If so, who are the most influential/relevant Twitterers, or bloggers, or facebook friends, etc., etc., etc.; and…
  • Just what part of her other publicity activities is she supposed to give up in order to find the time to first learn and then acutally use this new time-saving and fun new medium?

I know, I know – get out the violins, right? This is not insurmountable. This is not rocket science. And, we’re bound to get the hang of it… eventually.

But, in the interim, may I ask one little favor of you?

Could you pretty please – with sugar on top – cut us PR types a little slack while we try and figure out the future that is now? Because, we will make mistakes.

If, for example, we forget that you are only willing to be contacted via Facebook; or if we do not follow you back on Twitter right away; or if we mistakenly send you a sci-fi ARC, but you only blog about fantasy; or if we accidentally skype you and then hang up in a panic just as you are answering because we didn’t know that was what that button did — would you please not  assume we did any of these things to offend you? And will you please be kind and gentle and forgiving – the way you would with an otherwise adorable and well-behaved child who has just dropped your iphone in the toilet?

Because, we’re just learning how to play this new game.

Luv,

Kat

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