State of the Digital World 2013

Janet Grant

 Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant

Digital Book World, which takes place in New York City every January, becomes a more significant bellwether for publishing trends every year. I’ve been  collecting insights from this year’s event to help us stay on top of what’s happening.

1. Consumers are so distracted that discoverability is becoming increasingly challenging.1341235

Marketers used to apply the Rule of Seven to the product they were selling: A consumer needed to be exposed to a product seven times before deciding to buy. But, with so much “noise” in our world nowadays, consumers often need to come face-to-face with your book 14-20 times before purchasing. That means showing off your cover or talking about elements of your book multiple times. And that means being inventive about how you bring up your book because we all know the person who is overly commercial will be shut out of the social media conversation.

2. Traditional categories aren’t working online.

Much finer lines are being drawn to define what a book is about. It’s not enough to describe a book as historical fiction or Christian living. Readers know what they like and look for books in such finely-tuned categories as YA Christian dystopia or bullying or devotionals with a garden theme.

3. Sampling is working well to sell books.

Offering a chapter for free is an effective way to convince potential readers to buy the book. Publishers are also finding that offering one book in a series for a low price as an ebook is a good strategy to convince readers to buy others in the series. One publisher made such an offer and increased one of my client’s book sales 120%.

4. Bloggers are becoming the new booksellers.

As newspapers drop their book review sections and fewer bookstores remain open to offer reading recommendations, bloggers seem to be stepping in to play this role. Studies continue to show that we find books based on recommendations more than any other way. That means bloggers’ voices will become more important, as will reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, etc.

5. Facebook is the biggest bookstore that isn’t a bookstore.

Readers and authors hang out on Facebook. With Facebook’s move to make content searchable, look to this social medium to become more important in enabling readers and authors to connect.

6. Frequent book buyers are engaged with Goodreads and Pinterest…and other places.

If you don’t know how these social media entities work and you aren’t involved, you’re bypassing important ways to connect. Two other entities weren’t mentioned at Digital Book World, but Library Thing is an amazing way to establish groups (and connect with librarians), and Novel Crossings is a new venture that WaterBrook Multnomah, a division of Random House, created to facilitate readers of Christian fiction to find the books they want to read. (I know, just what you wanted to hear–more social media outlets to learn about. Help me, I’m drowning in options!)

What  other trends are you aware  of? As you read the list, what ideas do you want to explore? As a reader, which social media outlets are you involved in?

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71 Comments

  • Anne Love says:

    I wasn’t aware of Library Thing and Novel Crossings, will have to check them out.
    As a reader, I certainly look for link posts on Facebook that catch my eye. I think the bookcovers are so important to hook your eye for this social media avenue.

  • Head. Table.
    My husband and I *get to* share work space at home. Okay, I was here FIRST! But since he can work at home all winter, when the trees are dormant, he edits and writes papers. (No, I don’t proof read them, they’re tree science papers, zzzzzzzzz)
    *Lucky for me*, he gets to ask me why I spend a huge chunk of time on social networking sites. His world is the opposite of mine, his colleagues DO NOT SHARE information. Explaining networking and platform building to someone in his field is downright funny. “WHAT? You TELL people what you’re writing about? Are you INSANE??”
    Yeah, but, what ever.
    Currently, I am on Twitter, my blog, Facebook and Pinterest. I follow quite a few blogs and try to engage, sincerely, on many of them.
    Getting one’s name out there is pivotal to the life of a writer.
    And , a tip? If you google your name and find out you’re name (and colouring) is the same as a drug dealer in South Carolina, find a new pen name and maybe tweek the spelling on your passport.

    Seriously though, social media can affect you both ways. Be careful. If you can’t show yer mama what you wrote somewhere, do not write that comment!!

  • Sarah Thomas says:

    I absolutely got hooked on Laura Frantz when her first book was offered as a free download for Kindle. I’ve paid full price for each novel since! Highly effective in that instance.

  • As a reader, sampling is the way to my heart (and wallet). It is a simple yet effective way to tempt consumers into a full purchase with one little taste. Goodreads is my go-to for book recommendations. I find the site to be a community of true readers as opposed to the “spammy” marketing gimmicks often littering the Twitterverse. I value social media for its universal reach, but I also value boundaries – my inbox is not a dumping ground for self-promotion. As writers we have phenomenal tools at our disposal, and I for one would like to explore how best to utilize those tools without misstep, but I am beginning to feel like I have two left feet!

    • WHAT? YOU! DON’T! WANT! TO! READ! MY! BOOK! ?

      I’ve been inundated with rather aggressive bits of self promotion on Twitter. But, hey, at least it’s a lesson n what NOT to do.

      • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

        I wish more writers thought about what doesn’t work for them as readers so they would target their book promo accordingly.

      • True. Twitter has constant reminders of what not to do and the reminders are not limited to promoting books. I’ve received some rather aggressive tweets of “Follow me on Facebook. Follow me on Facebook. Like me, like me, like me.” These always seem to be from authors or would-be authors who are focused entirely on numbers and who don’t seem to get the relationship side of SOCIAL media.

    • I agree, Kathryn. Goodreads is a site that is focused more on discussion and book recommendation. Twitter is turning into an spamming site. And I hate that because it is the social medium that I have had the most success with.

      • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

        Christine, I read a recent report that, of all social media, Twitter is the most effective to actually selling books. If an author makes it social rather than promotional, it’s still working. And it sounds like you know how to do it well. If someone’s too promotional, I just skip past his or her tweet.

      • Twitter is a great tool when used correctly, but weeding through the muck posts can be a challenge.

  • Lisa says:

    Novel Crossing and Digital Book World are new to me too. I’ll add them to my list to check out.

    Sample chapters have gotten me too. I think getting that book cover all over Pinterest is huge. I think you hit, we need to be where people are hanging out (facebook, goodreads, pinterest.) The challenge is finding balance.

    I have completely found that to be true with my blog. People are pulled in so many directions. I have to touch someone with my posts multiple times before I think they become regular reading. Good content and connection has been vital to retaining readers.

  • Lisa says:

    There are way too many typos in that :) It’s Monday morning right?

  • Leia Brown says:

    Thank you for this post, Janet. As a newbie, I’ll say this is a lot of good information for me. As a reader, I’ll say a sample chapter is what hooks me. But as a writer, I’m saying HELP! I avoided social media religiously during my years overseas, because it just wasn’t safe to share a lot about myself and what I was doing. Like Jennifer’s tree-science-writing husband, I wanted to stay as anonymous as possible. I came back to the States two years ago to find myself almost lost in my home culture. I didn’t even know what an i-phone was. Seriously? You can do all that on your phone? (I own one now. So proud of myself for stepping into the 21st century :-) I realize if I am going to write and eventually promote the book God has laid on my heart, I’ve got to embrace social media, but I’d like to begin with a manageable amount. If you were just starting out again, feeling too overwhelmed to take on the entire Web at one time, what two social media venues would you begin with? And how would you build readership on a brand-new blog?

    • Jeanne T says:

      Welcome “home,” Leia. :) I understand the need to stay under the radar while online. I’ve had to do that too, due to my husband’s work. Others may have another opinion, but if I could share my opinion, I’d say cautiously get involved on Facebook. It is a great place to connect with others, and begin to get to know other writers. The downside is, it’s becoming more difficult to keep your information private. I like Facebook though, because of the connectivity that happens there. Friend me if you go that route. :)

      I got onto Twitter last year. It’s a different experience, and I don’t get on there as much. When I comment on others’ tweets, they usually comment back, which is nice for building a more personal experience on there.

      One thing that I’ve loved is getting to know people better when I visit their blogs. As many as I want to visit, I only get to a fraction of them because, well, I want a little time for writing. :) Friendships have begun as I become a regular commenter, and that has been pretty nice.

      I’m looking forward to the answer to how to build readership on a blog, because I’m hoping to start mine soon. :)

      • Jeanne T says:

        Wow, sorry this was so long! :)

      • Leia Brown says:

        Jeanne, I’m delighted that it was so long! Thank you for giving some good words of wisdom. Commenting on this blog is one of my first efforts to really connect with anyone online (beyond e-mail, which was my staple for sanity overseas!) and I can see that you are right – friendships can form, and that is pretty nice.

    • Leia, social media can indeed be daunting. Jill Kemerer (http://www.jillkemerer.com/) was a huge help to me. She’s patient and knowledgeable and loves helping others if you have questions.

      At the ACFW conference last September, I believe I remember Michael Hyatt stating that he recommended these three when starting to build a platform: Facebook, Twitter, and a blog, which Janet has mentioned.

      I think the trick is to start slow until you feel comfortable.

      Blessings as you move forward!

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Leia, to answer the question about the best social media to engage in, it depends on which ones you “get.” Some people are natural twitterers; others, who are visually oriented do great with Pinterest. But I’d

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Leia, you’re not the only one who feels she is behind with all this social media stuff. I think we all have the sense that we just can’t run fast enough to stay current with the changes.
      I would suggest you start out with one social medium that seems to come the easiest to you. For some people that’s Twitter (studies show it’s the best medium to actually sell books); others like Facebook; and the visually-oriented really get Pinterest. Each has its advantages. I’d suggest playing with all of them for a little just to get a feel for how they work and what sort of information people put up on them. Then hone in on one and start to build community.
      Getting readership on your blog begins with great content that focuses on reaching the readers of what you’re writing in your manuscript. You can find those readers through blogs that are reaching those same people. Become part of several blog communities. Find natural times to mention your blog and invite people to take a look at a specific blog post. Also, find those who read your kind of book on Goodreads and connect with them. Enter into that conversation and then loop your Goodreads into Facebook, where you can publicize your blog. It takes time, but the key is to connect with like-minded folks through other avenues and then invite those people to read your great content. The tags you use in your blog also can bring people in through Google search, etc.

    • Larry says:

      Like Janet said, it’s the content of your blog that will attract readers. If your book has a particular theme, look around and ask folks here for blogs or sites that deal with your books’ theme. Contact the owner of those blogs or websites (or the site admin, who might forward your query to the owner) to see if you can do a guest blog. If it goes well, you might become a regular guest blogger.

      Joining facebook groups is another way to get readership. Have part of your authors’ page mirror your blog, in that it gives readers a sample of what your blog overall offers, and give them samples of the topics on your blog. That way you can serve two different audiences; the ones who want the “Cliff Notes” version, and those who want more in-depth material. Make your authors’ page on Facebook unique by expanding a little on the main each main topic / new blog post you write on your blog. Or, if discussion on your blog gets good, bring the discussion to your Facebook page once in a while; let those casual and curious readers see all the fun going on at your blog.

      Goodreads is slightly different, in that it is a platform you’ll have to perhaps put more effort into than Facebook. Consider your Goodreads presence to be at least half the effort you put into maintaining your main blog. It tends to have a lot of different voices and conversations going on, so a good way to keep from being overloaded is to put that effort into joining conversations instead of always starting them.

      Also, we’re a writing community here, right? Join the conversations on others’ blogs and Twitter-feeds. Even though there are plenty of interests and writing styles on display here, we all have the same desire for quality writing; and so do, I believe, our readers.

      (Yes….yes….I know. I know. I don’t have a blog myself…..yet.)

      And don’t worry about writing too long, Jeanne. When good advice is worth its weight in gold, who can complain about being given money for free?

      • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

        Thanks, Larry, for all the helpful suggestions. Speaking of words being worth their weight in gold, yours qualify.

      • Larry says:

        The site won’t let me reply directly to your post Janet (so it might look a little odd for someone who just entered this topic to see a reply to a post that appears to come after the reply :) ) but I wanted to say I truly do appreciate those words of kindness, Janet.

    • Leia,

      I’m glad that you reached out and decided to comment on this blog. Welcome!

      I haven’t been overseas, but I share your leeriness of social media, but it is the reality for anyone who wants to write and sell books. Actually, I have come to enjoy social media (especially blogs where I can connect with good people and get both great information and feedback). Recently, I had the experience of being hacked on Facebook and that was decided not fun, but mostly my social media experiences have been positive.

      It’s great that you are embracing 21st Century technology and learning it so quickly. I wish you success and blessings. :)

  • Someone throw me a life preserver, I’m drowning in social media. :) I hadn’t heard of Library Thing or Novel Crossings, either. I’ll have to check them out. Right now I’m on Facebook, Twiter, Pinterest, and Goodreads. I truly can’t imagine adding more. When will I write?

    Janet, you mentioned bloggers, and since I promote books online via bloggers, I was wondering your thoughts on this.

    When our company started in 2007, virtual book tours and blogging were not that well known. Now, it seems there is a new virtual book tour company opening its doors every month, and authors and bloggers have a plethora of choices in who to work with. It also used to be that readers were happy with book giveaways, but now it looks like giving away big prizes like a Kindle Fire HD is the way to attract attention.

    Not only does that mean bloggers are being more selective in whose books they read, but lesser known authors who depend upon bloggers to help spread the word about their books seem to be getting shafted by well-known authors who are also using bloggers to talk about new releases.

    Are free chapters a better way to gain exposure for lesser known authors? I like having samples sent to my Kindle. But, I also like free e-books. How do authors compete against that? And of the people snagging free e-books, how many of those do you think actually get read? I have close to 400 on my Kindle, and I might have read 10 of them.

    Thanks for the great article that has got me thinking on a Monday.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Cheryl, blog tours have gotten competitive for the more significant blogs. An author’s publisher can help to get attention for newer authors and have the wherewithal to give nice incentives (prizes). A self-publishing author doesn’t have that advantage.
      Free chapters still work really well in getting sales for books, and an author establishing relationships with bloggers who reach his/her audience also helps.
      I’m not as convinced free books work as well as free chapters for the very reason you stated: people’s e-readers are laden with free books. It takes a long time to get through a book. But a sample chapter is much easier to read and decide if you want to buy the book.

  • I’m excited to see Facebook as one of the best ways to connect with readers and writers. I’m a huge fan of Facebook. I’m also learning to like Pinterest more and more. It’s a great way to find really cool ideas, but I’m often left feeling like I don’t measure up to the DIY projects, fabulous recipes and gorgeous outfits I find on there! So I go on Pinterest to look for historical clothing, furniture and ideas for my novels, while pinning some of the things that interest me, including great books by authors I love. Thanks for this peak into the changing market/culture/times.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Gabrielle, an idea I suggested for one of my clients the other day was to pin an outfit on Pinterest and then tweet and write on your FB wall, “This is the dress I envisioned my heroine in [title of book] when she fell in love.” I’d like to see the clothing; so I click on Pinterest. If the board is for that book, I’ll look at what else is there. Next thing I know, I might want to buy that book. So think of all your social media as a circle, with one medium leading people to another medium (remember all the times a buyer needs to be exposed to your book before a purchase is made)until the decision is made to read the book.

      • Janet, this is excellent advice! I love the idea of having a board dedicated to one book! Right now I have an 1850′s board, 1860′s, etc. But I could see putting pins of my characters, clothing, homes, pertinent historical events and other unique aspects on one board. Thank you.

  • I’m trying to extract some encouragement here, Janet, and I’m glad to hear about the importance of blogging, Facebook, and Pinterest. There is always more I could learn, but I think I’m doing all right in those places. I love the idea of a lower price on the first book or a free chapter. I’ve also heard of offering for free a prequel (short story or novelette). I love that idea! I think of it as a way to use all that backstory and research for the “real” story, as long as it still has the conflict and character arc, etc. Am I on target here, or should something like that have all of its’ own research and development?

  • Jeanne T says:

    Janet, this is such a helpful post. I was dismayed to know that readers often need to be exposed to a new book 14 times. That is a lot. Sigh. I guess with social media it’s more do-able, though. :)

    I’ve checked out Novel Crossing a few times. I like what they do. So far, I haven’t delved into the adventures of Pinterest or Good Reads, but it sounds like I’m going to need to make that one of my goals for this year. PInterest scares me–I know I’m going to get sucked in because I love looking at what people can do. So, maybe I’ll begin with Good Reads. :)

    I hadn’t heard of Digital Book World–thanks for sharing about that.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Jeane, set the timer with Pinterest! It’s a total time suck, especially if you’re procrastinating on doing something you’d rather not (like taxes). Check out what authors who write to the same audience as you are doing on Pinterest; it will be educational.
      Novel Crossing works much the same way as Goodreads and actually was creating because Goodreads doesn’t seem inclined to make it easy for readers to find books in the inspirational market. Novel Crossings enables the author to create and edit his/her own page, which is very nice. And CBA publishers are placing quite a few ads there and helping authors to establish a presence there.

      • Dear Janet. Pinterest is NOT a time suck.

        Noooo. You are WRONG.

        It is where one goes to learn how to build a pergola, make shelves out of antique doors (totally doing that one!!) grow potatoes and strawberries vertically AND what an 1865 poke bonnet looks like.
        Tsk.

        Time suck?

        Holy cow! Is it MONDAY??

  • Rachel Wilder says:

    Goodreads is the *only* place where I pay attention to reviews. Because they’re from other readers. I bought one book in the genre I’m now writing because five Goodreads reviews in a row said it read like a Doctor Who adventure. Sold! I loved it, and because of that book I’m now plugged into this genre’s author community. The hero of this book had every quality I love most in a hero, wrapped up in a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey universe partly inspired by the author’s love of Doctor Who.

  • Larry says:

    “Readers know what they like and look for books in such finely-tuned categories as YA Christian dystopia.”

    Indeed, though what I dislike about the Kindle store is how hard it is to navigate to find that particular genre (speaking of the digital frontier). Also, does anyone know any good examples from that particular genre? I didn’t know there were that many other writers in this particular field.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Larry, I just used YA Christian dystopia as the first example that popped into my head of a very specific type of category. Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan, is the primary place you can find this type of writing. The list of authors they publish grows every year. Check out Zondervan’s website for details.

  • Interesting information, Janet. Thank you for sharing it. I don’t like all of it (Facebook is my least favorite social medium, so I cringe to hear that it is so important to promoting books), but I appreciate your keeping us up to date and grounded in reality.

    I am on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+ and I have two blogs on Blogger. Twitter is the place where I have most connected with writers (other than the Books and Such blog) and I am still finding those connections and the sharing that goes on valuable. There are still writers on Twitter who don’t just tweet ads–but unfortunately, Twitter seems to be moving more and more towards being an unabashed advertising site. My experience of Goodreads is positive and is getting better all the time. I have been resisting going on Pinterest, because it’s ANOTHER thing to do and there are only so many minutes in the day. However, Library Thing sounds interesting and I want to check that out (no pun intended).

    You mentioned to Gabrielle a way to create a circle of your social media sites so that one site leads readers to the others. It’s a great idea. I haven’t done that yet, but I have tried to create traffic between my blog and Twitter by asking fantasy-related questions on Twitter with the hash tag “Fantasyquest”. The questions are either based on my current blog topic or I base my blog post on the fantasyquest question and I links on both sites, one to the other.

    One thing I started to create an audience for my book is to have characters from the book write posts on the fantasy blog. I’m hoping to get readers to enjoy these characters and learn a bit about their world so that they will want to learn more about their world, lives and stories by the time the book is published. I don’t know whether or not this will work, but the blog traffic has picked up since I changed from my own random posts on fantasy topics to having two Faeries and a Banshee sharing their lives and worldviews. Today’s post was the first time I had my main character as a “guest blogger.” *She* wrote an editorial about the unjust way humans often portray dragons as evil yet always present unicorns as pure and good. This comes directly from Siobhan’s conflict since she is supposed to become a Unicorn Protector but secretly wants to live among the dragons (who are viewed as wicked and despicable by her society). I didn’t mention her own conflict; I just had her rail against the injustice in her idealistic and passionate teenage voice.

    Happy Monday, Janet! Blessings to eveybody.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Christine, good for you to have persevered with Goodreads until you understand how to make it work for you. I’m still in the “overwhelmed” phase with Goodreads. Periodically I return to the site to play around some more.
      I love what you’re doing with your characters’ guest blogs. And the question Siobhan ponders on your blog is one that would really interest fantasy readers. You can check daily readership on your blog so you can see what blog topics are working best.

  • All those things are important, and still I think the face to face meeting is weighted more than the cyber meeting. I like to go out and get to know people through various organizations. Lately, I’ve volunteered to sell merchandise at Christian events (music and speaking) and have signed up to work with my local radio station to promote their ministry. A great way to help other “Kingdom-Growth Ministries,” enjoy an event for free, and maybe get to know potential readers in the process. How can you lose?

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      I love your heart in volunteering the way you do. It’s great to get a feel for what potential readers respond to, but it’s also hard to translate that type of face to face to actual connections that will help to sell books. Being in the real world with real people is hard to beat for real research.

  • Great tips, Janet!! So helpful. The most interesting points were that free chapters help to sell books, and that bloggers are helping to sell books too.

    When a newly pubbed author is preparing for her first book release, do you think it’s more important to arrange blog tours where she’s interviewed, does a guest post, or where the book itself is reviewed? Or is a mix good? I’m just curious since bloggers are now considered such a huge part of spreading the word.

  • Augie says:

    Janet, thank you for the nudge, using FB to post book cover, you’re right a lot of us hang out there.I’ll check out Pinterest. Augie

  • Janet, not only this post, but many of your added comments here are so helpful to me. I do enjoy my connections on Facebook and the fact that I can link blog posts so that friends can take a peek at my current writing. I am a very visual person, so I plan to check out Pinterest. This sounds perfect since I can also link to Facebook. It’s amazing to have all of these venues for showcasing my work, with the hope of delivering my God-given messages into the hands of those seeking them. I wouldn’t want to be a writer in any other age than this!

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      That’s the spirit, Susi. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options–and with new options seemingly every day. But authors really do have the ability to sell their own books in ways unimaginable even a few years ago.

  • Jan Thompson says:

    “3. Sampling is working well to sell books.”

    I agree with this. Thomas Nelson gave its readers a sneak peak of Sarah Ladd’s “Heiress of Winterwood.” I read the 3 chapters, and I’m sold. The Regency is spot on, so I knew right away I’m going to read the rest of the novel. I don’t have to wait for the library to filter it for me. But this is because the writing is very well done. OTOH, the opposite can be true too — the sampling could make readers not buy the book.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      A conversation I had the other day with a couple of marketing people confirmed what you’re saying. I was asking for future marketing plans for one of my clients, and the marketers kept saying, “We know the writing is stellar; so that frees us up to offer samples.” You just know they’ve learned that offering chapters from some books won’t garner more sales but would have just the opposite affect.

  • Sue Harrison says:

    Thank you for the information, Janet! My goals this year are to make my blog more professional looking (I’m partway there!) and to get into Goodreads. I “belong” but I don’t participate. It’s so very difficult to find time to write as various social media venues grow more and more overwhelming. My FaceBook connections seem to be the most promising situation, and I love connecting with my FB family.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Sue, you’re being smart to slowly expand your social media inroads. Learning how to effectively connect all the media so each additional one doesn’t consume tons of extra time is a trick we’re all trying to learn.

  • Great post, Janet, thank you! This brings to mind a couple of things for me.

    Regarding Facebook search, it’s my understanding that the search results are being heavily weighted based on what content has been shared significantly. For bloggers, that means it is more important than ever to write posts that are likely to be shared by a lot of the readers, because those posts are going to get the publicity in search results. To me, that means that bloggers would do well to think “article” style when writing posts (articles get shared a lot) as opposed to “blog” style (which traditionally has been more informal). In other words, no one is going to share your post about what your family did at the zoo last weekend, but if you turn it into a meaningful and impactful reflection, they might. It’s not just about blogging, it’s about blogging content people want to share.

    I’ve always tried to write “article” style on my blog. I think it’s helped me a lot in building my readership, because the posts get shared quite a bit (usually 40-100 people per post), and that brings more fans. With Facebook search, there is now even more reason beyond word of mouth benefits to focus on writing “shareable” content.

  • I want to address #2 above. Is a new category in fiction ‘Downton Abbey’ like? I’ve seen a handful of titles coming out in this genre already, and I imagine many will follow as the wave of popularity continues to grow.

    I’m trying to adapt the Gothic Romance genre for Christian Fiction, but many people raise an eyebrow at the mention of Gothic. I’ve been calling my WIP a Historical Romantic Suspense. It mixes the intelligent, independent characteristics of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, and the suspenseful setting of a Victoria Holt novel with inspirational elements.

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Jenni Brummett » We should prepare ourselves for plenty of Downton Abbey knockoffs; I’m expecting a deluge. Build the ark!
      The good news, Jenni, is that Downton Abbey has opened the door for novels set in Britain. In the past CBA publishers have been focused on stories set in America, but much more weight is being put on the Anglophile side of the equation. If you pitch your book as being written in a Victoria Holt style, I think you’ll find some publishers interested.

      • Janet, how about interested agents? :-)

        Let’s hope some of the Downton Abbey knockoffs are well done, and worth introducing ourselves to. The bar has been set high…

  • Brad Huebert says:

    Janet, I love what you say about Facebook being where people already are. I recently blogged about how my social media strategy shifted from blog centric to Facebook centric (http://bit.ly/11Pa4yl) It’s made a huge difference both for my blog and my platform in general.

    I also agree that the categories are changing. Scrolling through Pinterest, for example, you can’t help but see that “the Geeks shall inherit the earth.” ;)

    • Janet Grant Janet Grant says:

      Brad Huebert » Brad, thanks for sharing about the difference that becoming Facebook-centric instead of blog-centric has made for you. It’s sort of the difference between preaching on a street corner versus your closet, isn’t it?
      Regarding Pinterest, all social media has a geekiness factor, you know. So I guess, in the end, the geeks win.

  • 340 million tweets are sent per day. In just one minute, 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter, and every day 1 million accounts are created. Every day!

    Facebook sees 500 million “likes” each day, and 1 out of every 7 minutes online is spent there. Facebook has 1 billion registered users.

    The Google+1 button is clicked more than 5 billion times every day.

    720 million minutes were spent using the Pinterest app in 2012, and Pinterest surpasses Facebook in purchase conversions by nearly 30% (meaning, more people will click through a pinned product on Pinterest and ultimately purchase it than they will on Facebook).

    Staggering statistics, aren’t they?

    With more devices connected to the internet than there are people on earth (!), social media marketing is a force that absolutely cannot be ignored by a traditional publisher or author anymore.

    As with anything else, the water is fine once you learn how to swim. Google “how to use Instagram” and “how to boost my blog’s SEO” and similar queries and jump in! If for no other reason, the relationships built through social media are worth every minute spent there.

    You can do it!

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