a community of readers


I wasn’t fortunate enough to get to the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference in New York this year. But I have been looking at their new blog, a couple of posts from Sara Lloyd over at the digitalist, and Kassia Krozser’s take on it all over at Booksquare – all of which I’d recommend to you.

But the thing that really caught my eye was Gavin Bell’s presentation: From buyers of books to a community of readers. It nicely illustrates, for me, the divide between where most publishers are and where most readers are.

Gavin makes several points that I keep banging on about, yet which very many publishers are still not doing:

  • if your author has a blog, link to it
  • focus on your readers, not your internal company structure or catalogue
  • author-led blogs are more effective than publisher-led ones
  • the author is the brand
  • facilitate your authors’ use of social media

And, as Kassia says:

Tomorrow’s publisher (for those wondering, tomorrow started about ten years ago) needs to be positioned to make the process of reaching and maintaining the social aspects of the book business as effortless as possible for authors.

It’s about tapping into, discovering and building communities of readers. Books are social objects. Create a space for authors and readers to have a conversation, and you’re on your way to social media marketing.

About Author

Jon Reed is an author, screenwriter, publisher and social media consultant. He is the author of Get Up to Speed With Online Marketing (2e, Pearson Business, 2013) and the the founder of social media consultancy Reed Media, which offers social media management, training and consultancy. Jon started Publishing Talk in 2007 following a 10-year career in publishing, including as publishing director for McGraw-Hill. More...


  1. Hi, Jon –

    Great blog. As a YA author, it was a thrill when I started my MySpace and had the opportunity to communicate directly with my readers, though “grownups” mostly read my blog over there. The kids like to look at the space and leave brief comments, or they write to me privately. Facebook is also a great to communicate directly with my readers and colleagues. In fact, Facebook is how I made my way to this blog!

    Ciao from Venice,
    Cat Bauer

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