Social Media Is Overrated, Seth Godin Tells Publishers at Digital Book World

Most publishers consider social media an essential part of their marketing toolkits, but author and founder Seth Godin joined Digital Book World 2015 in New York City this morning to turn that idea on its head.

“Not all of your authors want to be good at social media. Not all of them have something to say when they’re not writing their book,” he told publishers.

In Godin’s view, the emphasis on building author platforms has gone too far. If so many authors now approach social media as a part of their jobs in the digital era, it’s at least partly thanks to their publishers, who have assiduously told them it is. But the problem is that it often looks that way to readers.

For one thing, that can make it hard to build a following, Godin says, and for another, doing so isn’t just about driving engagement on social channels, anyway.

Establishing and maintaining a loyal audience is by its nature a long-term investment, and what loyalty looks like online can sometimes differ considerably from what it looks like offline, “where the real work” gets done.

Godin points to Bob Dylan, who isn’t particularly active on social media but still has a vibrant and profitable career. “The long-tail rewards people for whom there’s passion from a few,” he says.

“The Monkees had a TV show, but Dylan’s still around.”

One thought on “Social Media Is Overrated, Seth Godin Tells Publishers at Digital Book World

  1. Ernie Zelinski

    I have been saying that social media is not only overrated, but not even necessary, for quite some time. Of course, the vast majority of so-called \book experts\ don’t want to hear this. This quotation applies:

    \It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.\
    — Mark Twain

    The truly creative individual should be able to come up with at least 25 unique techniques that are more effective than social media is for marketing a book. In fact, I have come with 50 to 100 techniques (no, I will not share these with anyone unless he or she pays me handsomely for my creative expertise).

    When it comes to creativity, These quotations apply:

    “The amount of money you make will always be in direct proportion to the demand for what you do, your ability to do it, and the difficulty of replacing you.”
    — Earl Nightingale

    \The great creative individual is capable of more wisdom and virtue than collective man ever can be.\
    — John Stuart Mill

    \What Is Your WOW Factor? This applies to both the service that you provide to the world and the way you market it. Make it edgy, make it snappy, and make it punchy. Even make it raunchy — but make it different! Real different!\
    — from \Life’s Secret Handbook\

    \The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.\
    — Charles Bower

    Incidentally, another factor that is highly overrated is hard work. Forget about working hard. That is for dummies. Work smart, instead. The payoffs are far greater.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    The Prosperity Guy
    \Helping Adventurous Souls Live Prosperous and Free\
    Author of the Bestseller \How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free\
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller \The Joy of Not Working\
    (Over 275,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)



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