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Books in the time of social media by Kat Mayo

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Kat Mayo @BookThingo discussing blogging about books, presented at the readers' advisory seminar 14 March 2018

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Books in the time of social media by Kat Mayo

  1. 1. Books in the time of social media Kat Mayo kat@bookthingo.com.au
  2. 2. Outline  Introduction  Social media platforms  Book discovery
  3. 3. Introduction W: http://bookthingo.com.au E: kat@bookthingo.com.au Social media: @BookThingo  How I discovered book blogs  What gap do blogs fill for readers?  Bloggers as curators
  4. 4. Facebook Why readers love it  Closer interaction with authors  Exclusive tidbits and news  Largely positive towards the book or author  Threaded comments make discussions easier to track What to look out for  Public vs closed communities  Personal/professional boundaries  Facebook algorithms can change what you see in your news feed  Skews towards older readers (over 30)
  5. 5. Facebook: How to find new pages
  6. 6. Twitter Why readers love it  Immediate interaction (most of the time)  Easy to use when mobile  Easy to jump on and off conversations, even hours later  Easy to branch off into side conversations while still linked to the main Twitter discussion  Hashtags can be created on the fly – e.g. #LoveOzYA What to look out for  It takes time to build relationships  Retweets carry conversations beyond your immediate relationships  Difficult to give full context in 280 characters  Twitter has its own etiquette – and not everyone agrees on what is good practice
  7. 7. GoodReads Why readers love it  It’s all about books!  Readers can add editions and update information (“librarians”)  Easy to rate and review  Easy to sort and categorise  Useful as a personal library catalogue  Discussion groups and book clubs What to look out for  Reader-defined bookshelves can be very creative  Ratings don’t always mean what you think it means  Annual book awards  Genre is reader-defined and can be fluid
  8. 8. Amazon Why readers love it  Extensive book catalogue  Seamless integration with Kindle e-reader  Cheaper books  Recommendation algorithms  Integration with Audible  Affiliate links (for readers who blog/link to books on social media) What to look out for  Review farms  Exclusive ecosystem
  9. 9. Instagram (Bookstagram) Why readers love it  The books are so pretty!  Flat lays  Visual rather than textual  Live stories What to look out for  Huge platform for YA readers  Follow the hashtags  Algorithms  Skews towards younger readers (teens and under 30s)  Alternative: Litsy
  10. 10. Hosted platforms Podcasts  Popular for people who commute/jog/do housework  Longform audio, typically over 30 minutes  Barriers to entry: cost, skill, time to edit  One-way communication Vlogs (BookTube)  Popular platform for YA readers  Skews towards younger readers (teens and 20s)  Barriers to entry: skill, equipment, a clean room! Blogs  Great for longform reviews and opinions  Discussions have moved away from blogs over the years  Blog tours – mixed bag due to repeated content  Increasingly used as a promotional vehicle by publishers and authors  Currency is reader trust
  11. 11. Newsletters Why readers love it  Book recommendations in their inbox  Tailored to their interests, including:  By author  By publisher/imprint  Local bookseller  Discounted title (e.g. Bookbub) What to look out for  Curation bias – e.g. booksellers, publishers, discounted books  Backlist titles not as well promoted  Freebies and exclusives – e.g. pre-release extracts
  12. 12. And more… Wattpad  Reader/writer platform  Skews very young (teens) Radish  Offshoot of Wattpad  Includes a business model for authors to earn from their writing Fan fiction communities  Hothouse for developing writers  Great for building communities and a fan base prior to publication
  13. 13. Where to start  Romance  Fictionally Yours, Melbourne – Biggest romance reader event in Australia, great for discovering self-published authors  Natasha Is a Book Junkie – Australian based book blogger with a huge US following, focused on new releases  Smart Bitches, Trashy Books – Great mix of old and new titles across subgenres, robust comments section  WOC In Romance – Promotes books by women of colour  Generalist  LoveOzYA  Read3r’z Re-Vu  Book Bloggers Australia – Directory of Australian based blogs  Books and Publishing – Monthly blogger spotlight  Australian Women Writers Challenge – Curates reviews and links to review blogs  Book Riot – US-based book blogging and podcasting network  Bookbub – Newsletter with a huge distribution list for discounted books  NetGalley and Edelweiss – Online portals for advance reading copies  Individual romance publishers/imprints, authors/author groups, booksellers
  14. 14. Podcasts Australia  Book Thingo   Unladylike  Bookish Friends  Better Words  From The Lighthouse  Lost the Plot  Chat 10 Looks 3  Genrelisation  One More Page (children’s books) Elsewhere  Women With Books  Book Riot (they have a lot of shows – choose your genre)  Smart Podcast Trashy Books  Romance Romp  The Wicked Wallflowers Club  XOXO After Dark Cast  The Puffin Podcast – Children’s book podcast that has podfaded, but a great template for a fun podcast
  15. 15. Book discovery tips  ASK READERS  Amazon recommendations – “Customers who bought this item also bought”  GoodReads wormhole – bookshelves, GoodReads awards  Australian bookseller newsletters – new releases  Twitter and Instagram hashtags - #LoveOzYA, #RomBkLove  Join Facebook and GoodReads community (and leave if they’re not the readers you’re focusing on)  Check NetGalley and Edelweiss – Look beyond Australian catalogues, especially for genre Questions to ask authors and publishers who visit your library:  Which reader blogs do you find most effective at promoting your books?  Where are you promoting your books online (book clubs, Facebook chats)?  Which platforms are your readers using? Find where the readers are and follow the conversations.
  16. 16. Why social media?  Insights into what is important to readers  Understand reader vocabulary “Do you have a book with an MC hero, no BDSM, a heroine who is not TSTL, with an HEA?”  Find adjacent books to extend reading lists for readers who want a bit of this and a bit of that – e.g. rural romantic suspense  Trends, trends, trends  Because it’s fun!

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