The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

Ghost social networking — to do or not to do?

In publishing, we’re all familiar with ghost writing.  But what about ghost blogging?  And ghost tweeting?  The other week, I met up with a team from a popular book and author website; one person mentioned she’s seen more and more publishing houses boasting of “Twitter campaigns,” but didn’t quite understand how a house could tweet in an author’s stead.  (This is where I make the analogy of someone wanting a baby but having a surrogate carry the baby and a nanny raise it.)

Yesterday, Dave Fleet posted about the issue of “ghost blogging,” explaining why it’s a bad idea and suggesting some alternatives.  For example, he suggests having multiple people blog under their own names rather than having them blog under the guise of one person.

Social networking is about making connections.  If an author isn’t willing or able to do that his/herself, I think it’s best to channel the marketing efforts elsewhere.  Twitter may be the buzz word of the day — and used properly it can sell a lot of books — but a heck of a lot of books are also sold without it.  Think about it this way — if an author isn’t willing to speak about a book at an event, would you hold the event with the editor or publicist instead?  Granted, some bookstores have had success with authorless events, and certain panel events do work well with people involved with a book who are not the author, but the vast majority of author events depend on, well, the author.

Years ago, back when Friendster was still alive, I created and maintained a profile for an author.  But that was the first and only.  Logistically, it simply takes too much time to maintain a profile that’s not my own.  And sometimes, it takes too much time to maintain my own.  Every so often I’m asked by colleagues about whether it’s a good idea to start author profiles on sites like Facebook.  (Now I can just forward this link!)  Would you as a book publicist create and maintain an author profile on a social networking site or would you leave that task to the author?  As an author, how do you feel about having someone network for you?

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Online Marketing, Social Networking | , | 10 Comments



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