Thursday, July 15, 2010

Using Social Media in BSM

Currently there is a something trending called “#DearPublisher”. On the surface, it looks like publishers (some pretty big like Harpers Perennial and McGraw Hill) that are reaching out to readers, writers, smaller publishers, distributors, agents and booksellers. What a noble gesture.

But as we participated yesterday a familiar trend began to develop. Bloggers, a few smaller publishers and a handful of the same people all started to tweet and re-tweet the same messages.

Now, please realize that this is done in big business all the time – so much so that the SEC has required bloggers that are sponsored by a business entity to identify the connection in their blogs. Normally, this kind of “event” is created to draw media attention to the “subjects under discussion”.

In this case:

1. “E-books will not replace printed books”
2. “Publishers really care for the authors” (not all do, but most do care)
3. The use of “digital catalogs is good”
4. How much would you pay for an e-book?
5. How bloggers can “help” publishers

Beyond those “purpose based messages”, there were a number of honest and helpful posts by real authors, writers and small publishers that dropped by to check out what was going on.

People, watch these trending topics for organized patterns:

1. Re-tweets that have very low real value – except for a commercial one.
2. The same people all agreeing on the same topic multiple times.
3. Messages that are contrary to the industry or topic’s well known behavior
4. Embedded Messages and Individuals Listing (EMAIL is what your mind picks up).
5. Hypnotic commands, “Believe Me”, “You Need”, “Don’t think”

Sure, I’m giving up some of my industry’s tricks, but I’m not the first one to expose them. Normally, you see this kind of tactic used to produce positive results. For instance, removing buying resistance for a product that really does have merit to its market. Sure, some companies use this stuff for evil and greedy purposes – but no one beats the government when it comes to agenda driven use.

Right behind the Government is the media industry – which includes the big publishing moguls. They keep writers poor and themselves fat. Their justification is simply, “We’re more valuable than those morons. We own the power of the word.” I actually had one of the big publisher’s CEOs tell me that once.

Keep your eyes open and watch the trends. Don’t fall into the social engineering traps that are out there now on social media. Use the above as a guide and call them out when you find them.

If you would like to learn more, watch the videos and read the brief that exposes what the publishers don’t want you to know, then check out the revealing essay.


  1. I'm a big fan of #dearpublisher as mine is the top tweet. ;-) But my blog is not owned by any big business (except Blogger). You can see for yourself I have 26 followers. Not big business. When I tweeted about books having babies, I didn't expect it to get retweeted over 150 times. I am not a plant or a marketing tool. Sometimes people market things they love just because they love them.

    Sure, I'm taking advantage of this forum to meet new like-minded people, increase my interaction and blog/twitter following--but that's not what it's about. The topics you listed above are topics of genuine interest to most of us bookies. They recur because we want to talk about them. It's marketing, yes, but it's organic (aside from your regular twitter spammers which every chat has).

    Interesting theories, though I disagree with you on this point.

  2. Your tweet would fall into the, "Beyond those “purpose based messages”, there were a number of honest and helpful posts by real authors, writers and small publishers that dropped by to check out what was going on."
    category then.

    As for theory, we have posted a "Who do you think you are?" reply to the offended masses.
    We do know this game as there is a whole industry built around it - and we are very fimiliar with it. As you may have guessed, we are not in support of it - it is an novice method to accomplish an advanced goal.