Trendspot: Using Social Media to Tell the Inside Story of a Book

I2m_turnhere_simonschuster__2 Getting the "inside story" is an appealing thing.  Whether you are talking about business, or entertainment, or even gossip about people’s daily lives, knowing the inside story means you are part of an elite club.  Inside stories are engaging, and they pass quickly from person to person (often, regardless of whether they are meant to be secrets or not).  In the publishing and entertainment world, giving people the inside story has become a big marketing trend.  "Making of" documentaries are produced for films and events.  DVD releases of films include "behind the scenes footage.  Some films (eg – King Kong) or books (eg – The Long Tail) even publish ongoing blogs throughout the creative development process.  Simon and Schuster is taking another step towards helping authors connect with readers with the recent announcement last week that they will be partnering with Turn Here to create a series of author videos to help promote books.  As Sue Fleming from Simon & Schuster explains in a ClickZ article:

"Publishing in particular has been thought of as a very old media industry, and we have a tendency to only think one-dimensionally. I think all of us who are working in [online media] have a challenge to think multi-dimensionally," said Fleming. "Books have always been promoted on television, and through a visual experience. You see an ad, or hear an ad, or you see an interview on the news… Video for us seems a logical extension."

Meeting the challenge of standing out in a sea of content competition, this type of new thinking about marketing is more and more likely to become a core part of publisher’s efforts to sell books.  I wrote some time ago about 5 case studies for what I felt were very smart examples of book marketing with new thinking.  Blogs from book authors around their books are increasingly common.  Authors can "claim" their book on Amazon and respond directly to feedback in the world’s largest book marketplace.  Podcasts, video interviews posted online, and even commenting on blogs are all viable ways of connecting directly with readers.  The future of book marketing is not solely about more book tours, speaking engagements and signing sessions in book stores.  It is marketing the inside stories that can make a book more than it’s pages, and now more than ever authors are in a position to share them.  Social media may be changing the media landscape by giving everyone a platform to be a content creator, but it’s also shifting the way that publishers market the oldest form of published content they have … printed books.

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