Sunday, September 13, 2009

Character with More Characters

The publicity manager from MIT Press, Colleen Lanick, who is the publicity manager for my own book, wrote an interesting piece about "Social Networking: University Presses in a 140-Character World."

Lanick makes the argument that it is not just a question of authors promoting their books as online personalities, because whole academic publishing houses need to use sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote their brands and inspire interest and sales. She also argues that having an online presence is also an important part of intelligence-gathering.

Most university presses use social media to discuss what is happening in their community and the publishing world as well as what is going on with particular books and authors. At MIT, we have found it very useful to follow others, including colleagues at peer presses and trade houses, journalists, authors, and other organizations and individuals that are relevant to our list. Editors are using social networking to attract authors. Publicists can quickly scan Twitter for alerts when book review editors resign or contribute to the buzz about a particular topic or title, and authors can keep the press and their followers interested in what they are doing to promote their new book. The possibilities are endless.

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