Friday, January 23, 2009

"Twitter must be part of every book promotion campaign you do.*

A publishing professional just called (yes, he called me on the telephone) to alert me to a article about social networking and to make his argument that, henceforth, Twitter has to be part of every book promotion campaign. "Twitter has become its own newsfeed," the publishing professional enthused. "That's how people are getting their news now! Tweets reach people before Associated Press stories do! If you're not tweeting, you're not promoting your book!"

Well, maybe. But I'm still not convinced.

If. heaven forbid, an author tweets to her followers, "We're having an earthquake!" then that news will make the rounds. But if the same author tweets five times a day about the progress of her book promotion campaign ("I just sent out 3 email pitches to the media," "A national radio show producer is on vacation this week and won't be checking his email - that leaves two pitches that might come through," "Just received an auto response from a producer, so who knows what might happen," "I received a random phone call from a high school classmate and pitched my book to her," and "I just sold a coworker a copy of my book"), that's going to get old pretty quickly.

As a book publicist, I'm excited about the growing possibilities of Web 2.0, citizen journalism, social networking, and all of the other avenues that are opening up as quickly as someone can invent new ways to use them -- for book promotion and beyond.

Who knows? Maybe there's a way to Tweet about your book promotion campaign without boring the socks off your followers. And maybe there's a way to broadcast messages to Facebook and MySpace groups without triggering a mass gag reflex on the part of recipients around the globe.

For now, it's worth keeping an eye out to see how authors, publishers, and book publicists are using social networking to promote their books and their messages. Tomorrow...maybe we'll all be tweeting instead of using email or talking on the telephone to spread our book news. We'll have to see about that. In the meantime, I'll dip another toe into the waters. I already have my Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts....