The thing that interested me most was the link in the bottom corner for the book's Facebook page. Note the clever use of the F logo in place of that cluttered, confusing http:// and www. business.
The Facebook page itself is a great example of homegrown author presence done right. It was set up by Brown before the book was released, and has been maintained by him with steady if not regular posts ever since. Visitors will find links to interviews and book reviews, pictures of Brown with fans and some of the subjects in his book, and most importantly a prominent link to his website, which shows his current and upcoming appearance schedule.
The page has some 2146 likes. That is not a lot, but because it has grown organically (I am guessing), that number represents actual people interested in the book and/or its author--an engaged audience, in social media parlance. It is obvious that Brown likes or at least feels comfortable with posting to his page, since he averages several posts per month. This page serves its primary purpose very well: it allows readers a way to connect with the author, and allows the author to easily reach many more people than are represented in his actual page numbers.
Do not believe it when an agent or publisher tells you that the only way to have a New York Times bestseller is by having astronomical numbers of social media followers! Instead, be passionate about your subject, stay in it for the long haul, and when you go out week after week doing readings and book signings (like Brown), use your social media channel to capture your connections with individuals who share your passion.
"If you are a teacher and writer who happens to be Pagan and would like to make a living at teaching and writing, here is your challenge: meet people in other ponds. Develop totally unrelated groups of friends, and figure out how to talk about what you do so that they can understand. Speak at industry events where your religious affiliation is at most a side note. Sharpen your game, retool your ideas, become a better communicator, learn from others who are a few steps ahead of you. If you can translate your spiritual beliefs into a heartfelt approach to whatever else you do, people will listen."
I find the message threads on the Chrome support site are filled with hundreds of unhappy Chrome users, and have been for over a year, but still no fix? Gah!
Here is a remarkable ad for two scrumptious-looking books. Note how Grand Central pairs a NYTimes best selling novelist with a debut novelist. Note the thematic and visual difference between the two books. Nicely done!
Of course, they have hedged their bets by featuring a debut novelist who has also written NYTimes bestselling memoir, but why quibble?
I love how they get right to the point at the top of this ad with a snappy quote from Tom Rob Smith's latest. As someone who aspires to read summer fiction, just that hint of dialogue and intrigue would be enough (presumably) for me to buy a copy for my (hypothetical) long vacation.
And, because I pride myself on cross-genre appreciation, why not get a copy of the ice cream book too? Look at all the B words: brash, brazen, brassy. Why, that practically describes me in my finer moments, and we all know how women love to read about themselves. Note also the book's indie cred thanks to the ABA. Kudos to Grand Central for including this call-out.
All in all, I would be very pleased with this ad if I were either of these authors. Particularly because Grand Central features both author websites in a reasonable font size. This does, however, put the onus on the authors to get their websites in top notch order before an ad like this runs, and I have some nits to pick with both of them on that score. But that's a topic for another day.
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