Three Digital Publishing Questions for Kristin Fassler

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

digital social media marketing book publishersThe Digital Book World Conference + Expo, kicking off on January 13, 2015 is packed with an incredible amount of information and ideas about the digital publishing landscape at a time of remarkable transformations. To help attendees make the most out of those three days, Digital Book World is sitting down with conference speakers to help lay the groundwork for conversations that will take place at the conference and continue for many weeks and months afterward.

This is the fifth installment in our “Digital Publishing Questions” blog series, featuring Kristin Fassler, VP, Director of Marketing at Penguin Random House.

What do you think has been the most newsworthy event in the past year around publishing and digital change?

As a marketer, I think the most newsworthy recent event has been the announcement from Facebook that they will curtail unpaid ads from brand pages. Facebook provides an enormous competitive advantage to our authors in a marketplace where consumers are inundated by messaging about how they can spend their disposable income and leisure time.

The demographics of the Facebook audience are similar to the U.S. book-buying population, and readers’ enthusiasm for their favorite books makes them much more inclined to engage with author brand pages and share book-related content.

As Facebook reduces the visibility of posting from brands, publishers will have to be much more imaginative and innovative as they experiment with different social platforms, manage social advertising budgets and advise authors on how to create compelling content that will get organic reach.

What are you anticipating as the big change we will see in 2015?

I anticipate that we will see an overwhelming amount of activity on mobile, with even more consumers buying, reading, sampling and interacting with authors directly from their phones. This has been a trend for several years, but it shows no sign of slowing.

Senior citizens and retirees, for example, are an avid book-buying audience, and consumer research indicates explosive mobile adoption among that group. We need to ensure that all of our marketing efforts are mobile-friendly, and that we are constantly thinking about how to reach readers directly where they are shopping.

What is the most important thing publishers need to accomplish in 2015?

Publishers need to ensure that consumers are seeing and engaging with messaging about their books. The onus for discoverability continues to shift to publishers, and it is incumbent upon us to make sure that we are continually working toward building awareness and brand recognition for authors and titles.

We’ll need to think creatively as we investigate new tactics that will help readers to find and easily purchase our books and encourage consumers to always think about what they might like to read next.

Kristin Fassler is VP, Director of Marketing at the Random House division of Penguin Random House and a contributor to Digital Book World’s popular Book Marketing & Social Media FAQ handbook. She’ll be speaking at Digital Book World 2015 on a panel called “Understanding Mobile Marketing and Discovery,” about publishers are rethinking their marketing strategies to become more mobile-first in an effort to reach today’s readers where they already are.

For more insights from Kristin, sign up for Digital Book World’s free webcast on December 9th, “Five Tips to Boost Your Book Marketing Strategy” and receive a free copy of Book Marketing & Social Media FAQ plus a special discount on a second upcoming webcast geared to social media book marketing tactics.

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