Authors are, in a sense, a business unto themselves. In a digital age when personal presence is what sells the book on social media, it is critical for authors to have a consistently branded page or account for users to follow and engage with. But this consistency, this need to post only certain tweets or pictures, might be considered the epitome of the “social media as a false reality” argument. Does having a consistent brand make someone inauthentic online?
Nonfiction sales have been on the rise as of late. As book publicists, we must embrace current market trends and learn how to use them to our advantage.
Big companies have the money to outsource photographers, and that’s great. It provides freelance photographers work and gives them a great source of income. Many smaller businesses, and especially publishers, do not have those kinds of resources. So we have to make do. But how?
Keeping a consistent brand, no matter how personal the account, is so important. People want to follow accounts that they can trust will post fairly similar art, because they like that art. You wouldn’t commission an artist who gave out a different-styled piece every time someone requested their services; in a similar way, people will not give you that follow if you remain inconsistent and unpredictable.
As a publicist, I am always curious about how much of an impact publicity actually has on a book’s success. So I decided to conduct a small experiment. For an entire week, I asked everyone I saw reading a book two questions: Where did you first hear about that book? And, why did you choose to read that one in particular?
You’ve probably never heard of Litsy, and you’re not the only one. But what is it exactly? Litsy is a mobile iOS app (an Android version is in the works) that launched in the spring of 2016 by the founders of Out Of Print, a clothing company all about books. It brands itself as “a place to organize, interact with, and document all things books,” and Bookriot has deemed it as what would result “if Instagram and Goodreads had a perfect baby.” The layout looks and feels like the Instagram app, and similarly, you can scroll through a timeline of images uploaded by users. If you want to find something more specific—perhaps you are looking for reviews on a book you are considering purchasing—you can use the search tool to find authors, titles, etc. Essentially, it is an ideal marketing tool for those wishing to promote upcoming titles.