Thursday, August 27, 2009

I've touted Wikipedia as a book promotion tool.

After reading a PC World article called "The 15 Biggest Wikipedia Blunders," I'm not so sure that I want to recommend Wikipedia for book promotion any longer.

Can a book promotion campaign thrive without the inclusion of a Wikipedia entry? Well, it's beginning to seem as though it could -- especially in light of the fact that Wikipedia (according to the PC World article) reported that Ted Kennedy had passed away in January. We know, from this week's wall-to-wall Ted Kennedy coverage, that the awful event didn't take place until the wee hours of Tuesday morning -- that's Tuesday morning of August, not January. (You can see the updated Wikipedia entry for Ted Kennedy, which now appears to be correct, here.

Wikipedia is making changes about how, and under what circumstances, edits can be made on its entries. That may help the veracity of its information, in the long run.

But for the short term, I'm not sure that I'd count on Wikipedia's entries to be a focal point of a book promotion campaign. Perhaps I'd still recommend that it be a part of a book promotion campaign, but two bits of advice about using Wikipedia as part of your author promotion strategies. First, don't write your own entry or Wikipedia will cite it as "suspect" and possibly delete it (unfortunately, a Wikipedia entry that I created for myself was flagged as suspicious and biased, and I wish someone had told me that might happen ahead of time). And, two, ask whomever posts your Wikipedia entry to save your original copy in case someone edits it and you must revert back to the original.

Follow those steps, and then move beyond Wikipedia to promote your book online. There's a whole world of online book promotion opportunities out there!