Which Book Publishers Tweet Best?
April 27, 2010 by Charlotte Abbott
The question of how publishers can best engage with readers and their business partners on Twitter drew scores of book people to last Friday’s #followreader chat. Smart insights just kept coming – from publishing imprints large and small, corporate and indie tweeters, as well as editors, publicists, booksellers, agents, sales people and book bloggers. In fact, the conversation continued for an additional hour, beyond our usual 4-5pm ET timeslot.
For the highlights of the discussion, read on!
Spontaneous love for book imprints:
- @unbridledbooks is great with interaction and are constantly recommending books.
- @randomhouse updates with drops, signings, trivial stuff and always has time to chat and RT. Love the literary trivia: http://twitter.com/randomhouse/statuses/12720536846
- @DelreySpectra, run by David Pomerico, is very good. He engages, is funny, does giveaways of science fiction and fantasy books.
- @EosBooks (mainly tweeted by @pamjaffee & @dianagill) does a great job tweeting interesting links about their science fiction and fantasy authors and books.
- @GraywolfBooks: I may be shopping for purple shoes after their pics today!
- @PeachtreePub responds quickly.
- Other recommended imprints: @chelseagreen, @Dalkey_Archive, @DarkHorseComics, @EgmontUSA, @HarlequinBooks, @nyrbclassics, @opencitymag, @Tin_House, @torbooks, @tordotcom
Spontaneous love for publishing people:
- @JaneFriedman (Writers Digest publisher) Posts, blogs and breathes what her readers (i.e., writers) want. She uses Twitter as a place to teach. She also does a best tweets of the week for writers that is worth the price of admission. Her best tweets list has more followers than any list I’ve seen.
- @michaelhyatt: (Thomas Nelson publisher) Answering my questions is a big thing. He does that best.
- Editors who give great Tweet: @EgmontGal, @DianaGill, @TheJordache, @BrendaCopeland
- @reaganart is another editor who does a fantastic job of talking about books she’s publishing & humanizing her brand/imprint
- Peter Ginna @BloomsburyPress does a great job of making complementary use of Twitter and his Dr. Syntax blog.
- @yrstrulyREL (Random House sales liaison Ruth Liebmann) is an example of a witty, engaging tweeter who keeps tabs on market feedback
How does your favorite publisher engage you on Twitter?
ReadingItAll: Ways to engage me: behind the scenes looks (authors at an appearance, rockin’ out at a party), features from fave blogs
I don’t like it when publishers just promote their books. They need to interact, be witty, sarcastic, and excited
: I like to know the name behind the Twitter feed; gives the publisher a human face.
Avoid seeing other pubs as competition, dont try & be aloof, enjoy the chat, share things that interest you
AlanKercinik: Pubs broadcast more than engage, IMO. I talk reading pretty often and have received maybe one proactive follow.
: I have found many small publishers on here that have great books, but take 3 weeks to get back to you.
: Most frustrating thing publishers do on Twitter is not listing Twitter handles for all imprints clearly on the main page.
On Book Giveaways and Other Offers:
: We have given away signed copies, though we’d like to see more entries. Thoughts?
: Pubs should play up new titles on release days. GrandCentral did a great job engaging readers this week w/new Baldacci release
: For giveaways: Personally, I’m more interested in things I can’t buy.
: I think allowing the readers to vote on jackets is a GREAT idea! #followreader
I love that people get into jackets. Have a feeling that our art director will shrug off the opinion of our followers though.
We do a full twitter party for about 12 hours with each new release. contests, games, puzzles, giveaways, etc.
: I invite twitter pitches from authors all the time. We are working on a twitter-managed anthology right now.
: If everyone at a pub tweets links to same blog/ad/event it all becomes noise. (like the Rick Moody serialization)
: Twitter can be a very good vehicle for the publishers customer service to engage with their customer. #followreader
: Twitter is how I chatter about books & stay current w/industry news-I don’t tweet w/ intent to market
Editors on Twitter
: Get your editors on Twitter – they are great personalities to represent you and gives reader a closer connection. #followreader
I’ve purchased books because the editor shared what she loved about the book and why. They’re best salespeople for own titles.
As an editor, there’s less need for me to assert about company activities. I’d rather give a sense of who we are, what we value.
: I actually know a lot of authors who tweet w/their editors, mention by name. Readers pick up on that.
: For a UP, I try to engage on a smaller scale, focusing especially on subject matter and interests
: Increasingly, role of publisher is not to market, but set up commons for authors, editors, and readers
: The great thing abt twitter is that you find out what ppl are reading, answer their questions, build a relationship w/readers
various chats also help me find followers. That’s why I started #scifichat.
: Twitter Lists – good source for finding followers in your niche, as well as hashtags, trending topics
: At Nolo we have a dedicated tweeter for each of our accounts specific to the audience we’re trying to reach
: To think we were about to get a robot to do our Tweeting. Apparently ppl don’t like that. We’ll stick with the monkey. Thanks #followreader!