Publisher Weekly posted an article titled Teenage Tweetland, YA authors and publishers reach out to young readers where they live: online and on their smartphones which discusses the use of social media in relation to the publishing industry. What makes this post so interesting are the multiple perspectives/voices being projected; the young adult, the author, the publisher, etc.
A large sector of young adults use social media such as Twitter (20+ million), Goodreads (8+ million users under 30), Tumblr (22+ million users under 18), blogs, etc. to identify titles to add to their reading lists. Publishers themselves are posting upcoming book lists and must reads derived from data collected from sites “liked” or reviewed by their target audience. In addition, authors are engaging their readers by sending tweets not just about the finished publication but during the characters development process to heighten anticipation and ultimately entice continued readership. Simone Elkeles, author of Perfect Chemistry, states that she spends about 25% of her time writing and 75% of her time directly interacting with her fans. Authors like Sundee Frazier find it daunting to engage in social media platforms stating, “I’m not the sort of person who can just fire off tweets. My first priority is writing my stories.”
This highly personalized and direct marketing creates a digital dialog with readers-especially young readers who are confident and enthusiastic about technology. It also creates a feeling of being connected, albeit virtually, using a system that has been known to inversely foster physical isolation. This type of connection between writer and reader is becoming a growing expectation opposed to a preference. I suspect the key is finding a medium that works. As Patricia Post indicted in her editorial, From the Director, CMLE has recently begun to engage in various forms of social marketing (this blog) with our target audiences (libraries and library professionals) to acknowledge that libraries are key stakeholders in the ever present cycle of information development, access and sharing. Click here to read the full article (May 2013).