The BS team spent the first full day of 2008’s Book Expo America watching booksellers, publishers, agents, authors, and everyone else get religion. In 2006, Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics, spoke to what should have been this crowd about the future and how the publishing business needed to move forward quickly…sadly, Tapscott spoke a large contingent of well-wired bloggers and a few other bodies.
That room should have been packed to the gills.
At this year’s Book Expo, held in unbelievably gorgeous Los Angeles — city of beautiful weather and clear skies (yes, the skies are clear) — the educational sessions on Thursday were non-stop Web 2.0, and, as attendees left their luggage and hit the Convention Center, increasingly packed with people eager to learn how they could use online activities to grow their business.
No, it’s not too late, but, man, it’s time for some serious education. Some of the panels were clearly too broad, filled with far more new concepts than the crowd could absorb (Twitter? I just got the Facebook, and what do I do with that?). Some of the panels were too short — a panel on publicity opportunities in the Web 2.0 world could have been an all-day seminar…and not comprehensive enough.
Since I’m technically supposed to be there right now (thank you Laurie Viera Rigler and husband for a great, late dinner!), I’ll leave you with a few key takeaways and a promise to revisit these ideas in other posts:
- Experiment – The cost of entry into most of these ventures is low, so it’s worth your time and effort to test new ideas, to get a little wild. You never know what’s going to work.
- Resources – Yeah, I just said the cost was low, but ain’t nothin’ free in this world. The future of marketing and reaching readers is all about building and sustaining community. You go to them and you listen to them and you give yourself to them. This takes time. Figure out how you’re going to work this interaction into your schedule. Doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but it does have to be some genuine time.
- Play to your strengths – Huh? What strengths? Whether it’s a book, author, major corporate entity, or bookstore, what methods of communication do you do best? The experimenting you’re doing after reading takeaway one should be giving you idea about what you like and what you really loathe (and don’t confuse loathing with not being good at it!). It could be a mix of approaches — actually it will be a mix of approaches — but if something is clearly wrong for you or your work, then don’t do it.
Your dislike for the process will shine like an ugly beacon and the audience you’re trying to woo will feel your inauthenticity and turn away.
Now the team if off for a day of fun and conversation.