Don’t Ignore Social Media

I still run into publishers who think they can run an effective book promotion campaign without using social media. I believe that they can.

I also believe that any book promotion campaign is more effective if it includes a social media component.

Social media is not a fad. It is a force. Social media opens doors to publicity and promotion that traditional avenues don’t.

Thomas Nelson recently released data in relation to top publishing houses that they track. The data looked at which 10 Christian publishers hold the lion’s share of the Christian book market based on revenue. In other words, which Christian publishers are selling the most books?

Thomas Nelson maintains that they are the number one Christian publisher with the highest revenues. They report that their share of the Christian market grew from 29.3 percent in 2008 to 32.6 percent in 2009. Zondervan and Tyndale were in second and third place respectively and Thomas Nelson’s study reported that both these publishers lost some market share. Baker Publishing Group was in fourth place with their sales remaining flat.

What was notable in this data was that B&H Publishing Group climbed from number seven in 2008 to number five in 2009. Thomas Nelson thought this might be largely propelled by sales of The Love Dare book.

What I find interesting is that the two publishing companies whose sales increased from 2008 to 2009 have both embraced social media and use it to promote their books.

Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson, has been a leading voice in the use of social media for the Christian publishing community. His blog is quite the authority on how and why to use social media. Thomas Nelson also recently launched a new website, BookSneeze, which gives away free copies of their books to any blogger who agrees to write a review on their blog as well as post the review on one other consumer website.

B&H is also aggressively promoting their books using social media. They have embraced promotional book videos. A book trailer is created for every book that B&H publishes. The company widely distributes these videos on the Internet and places marketing dollars behind them.

I believe the increase in sales for both these publishers is directly tied into their willingness to embrace social media and use it to promote their books.

As someone who provides social media services for small businesses who don’t have the time to spend on social media (or who need the technical help), I have found that social media is extremely effective. One of my clients, an art gallery, more than doubled their website traffic within two months of creating a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and starting a blog.

Those who think they can ignore social media and still grow their publishing business should think again.


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