The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

How do you track online “buzz”?

These past couple months have been incredibly busy, so I haven’t posted except on Fridays, when I do the NPR Books Watch wrap ups in which I list the books / authors that have been covered on the national NPR (National Public Radio) shows.  Book publicists — and anyone in the business of book promotion — know what a national NPR hit means, which is to say sales.  And typically lots of them.

One of the reasons why I hit upon doing the NPR Books Watch is because it’s easy enough (if time consuming) to look up book stories on the NPR Books page and then check sales rankings on Amazon.  In fact, Amazon is the quickest and most accessible way for anyone to get a snap shot of book sales (although you’d need to take the numbers with a grain of salt since they only reflect online sales rankings — not sales, per se — on one site).

But the truth is that a lot of what we do as book publicists is generate “buzz” — in other words, our efforts may not translate into immediate sales, even if down the line people end up buying more books.  Which brings me to the topic of this post.

The other day, I attended a Publishing Point talk with Martha Stewart Executive Vice President Gail Horwood and she shared a few simple tools the folks over at Martha Stewart use track (online) buzz:

Click throughs.  Link trackers like or applications like HootSuite enable you to see how many people have clicked a link.

# of Friends/followers on sites like Facebook and Twitter

# of Comments on Facebook / blog / website posts

—  Retweets and @replies (if you use  Twitter)

How do you track buzz?  (I know the above doesn’t include web analytics applications like Google Analytics, but that’s the topic of another post …)


July 6, 2010 - Posted by | Online Marketing, Social Networking |


  1. […] How to Become a Better Writer: 11 Completely Non-Writing-Related Ideas.The Book Publicity Blog on How do you track online "buzz"?K.A. Stewart on the Birth of a Character.Mark Chadbourn on Keeping It Real.Jason Sanford on How […]

    Pingback by SF Signal: SF Tidbits for 7/7/10 | July 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. The decentralized nature of buzz makes social media tracking engines more appealing because those aren’t primarily link based mediums. Your suggestions are really just the tip of the iceberg though in terms of tracking.

    We are now able to determine the specific demographics in which the buzz is generated based on peoples cookies. Admittedly these services are at the pricier end, but that data in turn allows you to target your ads/promotions to give the buzz momentum. Seeking something blow by once on twitter isn’t going to make you buy it. But seeing it one twitter, your friend’s blog, and an acquaintances wall post on facebook provides for the name recognition that translates into sales.

    Comment by Alec | July 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Good point. I read somewhere (I forget where now, of course) that people need to see things an average of seven times before making the deciding to buy something. Just thinking of myself, I’d say that makes sense.

      Comment by Yen | July 7, 2010 | Reply

      • I’ve heard the 7x thing, too.

        Yen, do you know the site I don’t know how useful it is in terms of providing solid metrics, but it’s fun.

        Comment by lyndalepress | July 8, 2010

  3. Test.

    Comment by Yen | July 8, 2010 | Reply

  4. its really a nice article. best wishes from .

    Comment by publicityweek | July 11, 2010 | Reply

  5. You can put up the book on the BookBuzzr widget ( and it tracks number of times the book was viewed in widget format and number of times the book was viewed in full-screen preview / sample mode.

    Comment by Vikram Narayan | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  6. let me just say that i love the way you write and post articles on your blog ~.-*.

    Comment by content creation | April 26, 2012 | Reply

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