Marketing in the Digital Age: Slides and Recap

by Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Director of Audience Development, Digital Book World

Judging from the activity on Twitter and the feedback I’ve gotten via email, yesterday’s webinar, Marketing in the Digital Age: Batteries Not Included, was a success!

Our panelists — Dan Blank, Director of Content Strategy & Development, Reed Business Information; Patrick Boegel, Director, Media Integration, Media Logic; Jane Friedman, Publisher & Editorial Director, Writer’s Digest Community; and Diana Vilibert, Web Editor, Marie Claire — were a diverse group, making my job moderatoring easy as each one of them brought a different perspective and some great insights to the discussion of how publishers can successfully engage with readers using social media tools.

The slides from the presentation have been made available via Slideshare, but they only give a hint of the great conversation that took place, so we’ll be making the full archive of the webinar shortly. [Now available here.]

Some personal highlights, filtered via our attendees tweets, included:

DaintyNinja: #dbw panelists don’t follow publishers on twitter – only authors, genres, and online community leaders

suzmccormick: Panelists say they follow those who are both entertaining and provide useful info on #Twitter #dbw

MaggieHilliard: Panelists playing “guess the publishers ” with popular books. No one knows or cares about editors/publishers–they should–lead tribes. #dbw

mikecane: RT: @NetGalley: wow – none of panelists know the publisher of Dan Brown! #dbw <– Wasn’t that MacRandomillanday?

MaggieHilliard: @DanBlank Less about broadcasting/interrupting, more about giving pple the option to listen to you. Social media is key to perm. mkting #dbw

MaggieHilliard: How can booksellers engage audience online? @DanBlank Don’t look for $ signs right way; build a channel/platform/community. #dbw

robertleebrewer: RT @thewritermama A blog is a destination, a book is a beautiful product. #DBW (Books are excellent gifts. URLs? Not so much.)

MaggieHilliard: How does that engagement strategy fit into “traditional” marketing/PR strategy? #dbw @DanBlank Listening is key

thewritermama: Authenticity=believe in your product, as first step. Build personal brand wisely. Focus on your niche (in my words). Fr @dianavilibert #DBW

vrleavitt: #dbw Where does blogging fit in to a writer’s carrer? @DianaVilibert – “A blog is another place where your potential readers are.”

thewritermama: Track results. Use analytics. Pay attention what happens after you start to engage. @patrickboegel #DBW

charabbott: “We see very clear correlation between tweeting and linking to info and sales of our products.” — @janefriedman #DBW

BethBookCoach: If you look for the $ sign right away, you’re missing the point. The bk is the marketing channel, the driver of credibility @danblank #dbw

ChristinaCastro: Listening/watching #dbw & discovered Suheir Hammad’s newest collection BREAKING POEMS (expand) I must get my hands on it! #books

austen_addict: Fave takeaway from Marketing in the Digital World webinar: be entertaining or point to useful info. Believe that was @janefriedman. Thx #dbw

ConsortiumBooks: Still chewing on the idea that publishers don’t “own” their customer relationships, intermediaries like Apple do @glecharles #dbw

lisamhawkins: #dbw Just took a Digital Book World webinar – valuable & useful info. Wish I could attend Jan NY conference.

Two of the more entertaining tangents that took off on Twitter were reactions to our panelists not knowing the publishers of all eight of the books I showed them, and that none of them owned a dedicated ereader, despite the fact that all owned at least one smartphone, and Jane noted she had the Kindle App on her iPhone. Tunnel-vision much?

To the first point, though, my goal with the selection of books I chose was to show that, for most readers, even those who work in publishing, the publisher is relatively unknown and not a major factor when choosing a book to read. Notable exceptions include Marvel and DC, whose banners are nearly as strong as their best-known characters, and some genre publishers, like Harlequin, TOR, Hay House, Chelsea Green, etc.

The common denominator: niche.

Try the quiz yourself. Go to Slide #18 and see how many publishers you can identify based on the books shown with Googling them. (Or Binging them. Equal time!) Bonus points if you’ve actually heard of all eight books, and a TRIPLE GOLD STAR if you can name half of the editors involved with them!

Register Today!

Register Today!

Also, check out the programming for Digital Book World in January, which includes several sessions that will continue yesterday’s conversation about marketing, zeroing in on some specific issues like:

Selling Direct to the Consumer: Risks and Rewards and the Best Practices for Publishers
Speakers: Rick Hunt, Sharedbook; Cory McCloud, Giant Chair; Sara Domville, F+W Media, Inc.
More and more publishers are selling books and ebooks direct to the consumer from their own websites. But doing that opens up a Pandora’s Box of challenges because they then go into competition with their best retailer customers. How can publishers sell direct and still maintain good relationships with their…  Read More

Getting Comfortable in the Niches: Reports from Publishers Working Their Verticals

Speakers: Brent Lewis, Harlequin; Reid Tracy, Hay House; Margo Baldwin, Chelsea Green
The shift from horizontal paths to audiences to vertical ones is a hard concept for people who have grown up in book publishing to accept. This panel features publishers from niches as diverse as Mind Body Spirit… Read More

Get Noticed! How to Earn Attention for Every Book
Speaker: Christina Katz, Author; Yen Cheong, Penguin
Launching a new book used to use a bunch of standard techniques: decide the size of the catalog entry; get the galleys to PW and Kirkus X weeks before pub; edit the standard press list and send books to this number and a press release to the rest. But today’s world is more challenging. The list of bloggers… Read More

How Publishers Can Build Their Own Communities: Using Social Media Tools
Speakers: Pablo Defendini,; Jesse McDougall, Catalyst Webworks; Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, F+W Media, Inc.
It’s one thing to use established social networks like Facebook and Twitter to reach audiences. But it is much more effective if you can build the community and make it your own social network. Publishers who are doing that… Read More

Fundamentals of an Email List Management Strategy: Capturing and Utilizing Today’s Most Cost-Effective Asset
Speaker: Eleanor Elliot, Harlequin; Rachel Chou, HarperCollins; Mitch Rubin
Publishers have been collecting email names for quite a few years, but have they been using them effectively? Most publishers don’t have a clearly defined email strategy, but the publishers on this panel do and they’ll be… Read More

Teach Them to Fish: Empowering Authors to Market Themselves
Speakers: Peter Clifton, FiledBy;  Debbie Stier, HarperStudio; Matt Schwartz, Random House; Cecilia Tan, Circlet Press
One thing is sure about the new digital age: publishers know that that author marketing is among their most important tools. All sorts of efforts are being made by publishers to make authors more effective as their own… Read More

Don’t get left behind!


  1. Thank you for this slide show. One major thing that popped out to me is that there is NO magic wand in this industry. Sometimes i wish there were, but then it would just be a back and forth tug of war. It takes a lot of work and A LOT of time to succeed. But is achievable for people to get there.

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