Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What a difference a year makes

I'm in Boston getting ready for the start of "Publishing Books, Memoirs and Other Creative Non-Fiction" conference, which is put on by the Harvard Medical School's Department of Continuing Education.

It's a sweet gig--the conference is at the Fairmont Copley Square and Boston is always fun. This is my fourth year and it is one of my favorite trips each year. I'm due to give a media training workshop at 2:30 PM each of the next two days and then a speech on the broader publicity process Saturday at 11:30 AM.

As I prepped today on the flight up to Boston it was pretty eye-opening to think about how much I've had to revise last year's presentation. Each year I go through the normal updates but this year was almost a total rewrite. It is amazing how much the publicity process has changed in just one year...

Social networking?

Last year: "If you have time, I suggest a MySpace page for your book."

This year: "A commitment to social networking is no longer an option, it's a requirement. By the end of the weekend you should start building your presence on Facebook and Twitter and thinking about viral strategies for your book."

Newspaper coverage?

Last year: "Although slowing down, daily newspaper coverage - in print form - remains one of the most realistic and sought after targets for authors and publicists."

This year: "Thanks to mobile extensions, Twitter applications and clicks per day, online extensions of traditional print outlets like the New York Times are more visible bookings for authors and publicists."

Mommy bloggers?

Last year: "It's a cute trend we're starting to see--moms reviewing books, commenting on pop culture and generating conversations with each other in their spare time. It must keep them busy."

This year: "Mommy bloggers have become one of the most influential target markets for books online. Any book targeting women 25-55 has to resonate with this segment of the market. Oh, and they're making a fortune off of ad revenue. The more popular mommy bloggers have opened the door for the dudes they married to leave their jobs and stay home and count money."

Blog tours?

Last year: "Apparently, New York Times thinks we should send our authors on "appearances" around the internet."

This year: "Blog tours, online book giveaways, author guest posts, etc. are crucial to every book publicity campaign. Try giving your bloggers a time range - a 3-4 day window, for example - to post their reviews, giveaway, etc. in order to spike Amazon rankings and increase the book's search engine optimization."

How much will change between 2009 and 2010? Any thoughts?

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