What the elections can teach us about media (and social media)
I met up with my running group at the New York Running Company last night. The store was nearly empty, save for a handful of people glued to the television. Outside the Time Warner Center, a gaggle of people was clustered around the television in the window of First Republic Bank. Meanwhile, the TV-less seating area in front of Whole Foods — usually packed 24/7 — was empty.
Which is ironic, because in 2008, you don’t need a TV (or even a computer) to follow the news. I whipped out my phone and between Twitter and my friend’s Facebook status updates, I knew how many electoral votes each candidate had and which states had been called for Obama or McCain. In fact, several articles this morning focused on the social media expertise of the Obama campaign: Ad Age, The Buzz Bin, and Christopher S. Penn’s Awaken Your Superhero among others. Those of you who have Facebook accounts know that many people “donated” their statuses to a candidate or virtually “got out the vote.” (And still others, wary of publicly declaring a political affiliation, simply exhorted friends vote.)
While we can’t guarantee that what works for politics will work for books, we can say that many consumers — although maybe not the ones glued to the TV in front of the Time Warner Center — are interacting and being influenced in new and different ways.
Down the Avenue posts front pages of various American and foreign newspapers (both hard copies and websites). The American papers, of course, feature massive Obama headlines … so do the foreign newspapers. I was amused — when have we ever cared that much about what was going on in other countries? (And how many UK / European / Asian bestsellers have you tried publicizing only to have them, well, uh, not be bestsellers here?)
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Fall 2012: I’ve really enjoyed writing about book publicity and meeting (0nline and in person) writers, publicists, editors, agents and others in the publishing industry, but I’ve — reluctantly — come to the conclusion that I just don’t have the time to maintain this blog.
I imagine there is some information that will remain the same and that will remain useful, but there is much more that is or will become out of date, so please keep that in mind if you find yourself perusing my posts.
For some time now, I’ve closely followed a lot of very informative sites about media and about the publishing industry. Since I find myself quite voluble at times about issues that pertain to my job in the publicity department at a large publishing house, I thought I’d set up a book publicity blog. The purpose of this blog is provide tips, primarily, but also information about publishing / marketing trends that will help book publicists — and hopefully others in media and publishing — do our jobs with greater ease and efficiency. Please note that the opinions expressed on this blog are my own, not those of my company.
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