Why Facebook Will Not Help You Sell Books

“As an author, book marketer and social media specialist, I cannot think of a single more wasteful thing an author can do for book sales than to market on Facebook,” writes Michael Alvear in a blog post for DBW, arguing against a recent post in favor of the platform.

“Put simply,” Alvear continues, “there is no evidence that Facebook can sell books, unless you’re a celebrity with a mass following. There is, however, plenty of evidence that Facebook is both a waste of time and money if you’re an unknown or midlist author.”

To that end, according to Alvear, it’s necessary to “understand two key concepts that agents, publishers and marketing experts fail to mention whenever they encourage (and sometimes force) authors to build their ‘platforms.’”

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NYT Reporters Discuss Amazon Article (NYT)
Jodi Kantor and David Streitfield, the two New York Times reporters who wrote the expose on Amazon a few weeks ago, elaborate on their reporting process and reflect on the piece’s significance. “From our interviews, we were able to draw connections between Mr. Bezos’ philosophy, Amazon’s practices, the company’s success in the marketplace and stories of individual workers,” Kantor and Streitfield write. “We asked more than a hundred current and former Amazon employees open-ended questions about how the system shaped the workplace and played out in their lives.”

Amazon Worker Says NYT Misrepresented Her Testimony (Fortune)
Dina Vaccari, a former Amazon employee quoted in the recent New York Times expose, now says her story was used to represent a view of the company that doesn’t align with her own. “Allow me to be clear: the hours I put in at Amazon were MY CHOICE,” Vaccari wrote in a blog post. “No one ever forced me to do this – I chose it and it sucked at the time but in no way was I asked or forced by management to do this.”

Amazon Launches Kindle Unlimited in India (TechCrunch)
Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription service is now available in India. Pricing currently starts at 99 rupees (about $1.50) for a one-month plan, though that will increase to 199 rupees at the end of this month. Amazon was one of the first companies to launch an ereader in India when it made the Kindle available there in 2012, but the devices now compete with Kobo and a host of smartphones and tablets. In terms of content, the Kindle Unlimited plan is up against Flipkart, which operates India’s largest ebook platform.

Amazon Integrates Goodreads into Kindle and Fire Tablet in UK (Amazon)
In a press release, Amazon announced an update that integrates Goodreads into Kindle ereaders in the UK. According to the press release, “the exclusive Goodreads integration on Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets enables the UK’s book lovers to share highlights via Goodreads from inside a book, see which books their friends are reading, and rate the books they read on Goodreads—all from one device.”

The Future of Narrative (Scholarly Kitchen)
Joseph Esposito reflects on Iain Pears’s recent piece in the Guardian which detailed his decision to integrate his new novel with an app. “When you look beyond the journals world, what is striking is not how extensive digital inroads are but how they stop at the wilderness of print,” Esposito writes. He continues: “What Pears’s comments make us see is that there is no reason to publish in digital form unless that form does something that print cannot.”

SpotlightWhy It’s Time to Own the Customer Experience (Ad Age)
Sheryl Pattek of Forrester Research writes that it’s time to “go beyond just customer acquisition to unite all customer interactions into a common consistent experience. Why now? Because b-to-b customers are increasingly wearing their b-to-c hats to the office, expecting to find Amazon-like experiences that will make or break how they view your brand.”

SpotlightHow the ‘Everday Low Prices’ Strategy Fares (Econsultancy)
Walmart became synonymous with low prices, thanks to clever marketing and rollback offers. This tactic helped shoppers perceive Walmart as a low price leader, whether the store always had the lowest prices or not. But everyday low prices haven’t exactly done wonders for retailers in the 2010s.

EverAfter Romance Launches New Online Romance Community (DBW)
In a press release, EverAfter Romance, a division of Diversion Publishing Corp, announced the launch of a new online community site for fans of romance books, TV, film and pop culture. The site is the latest extension of EverAfter’s rapidly expanding romance brand, which first launched in November 2014 as a romance-only ebookstore app.

Book Depository Founder to Launch Global Retailer (Bookseller)
Dr. Emad Eldeen Elakehal, former chief technology officer and co-founder of The Book Depository, is set to launch a global online bookselling site later this year called ibiidi.com. The site will sell titles in multiple languages and offer customers the option to pay for titles in a number of different currencies. The site will at first sell through third party marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, and launch direct to consumer later in the year.

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