Monday, August 6, 2012

A New Website is Bringing People "Togather"

Yesterday, the Reading Between the Lines book club met up to discuss The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth. While our meetings are always fun and full of lively book chat, this meeting was particularly awesome.

With the help of some agent friends of mine, I was able to get in touch with Emily and invite her to join us via Skype for an author Q&A. To our excitement, she accepted, and we talked with her for about an hour, discussing her inspiration, research, characters, etc . One thing that also came up was Emily's experience as a debut author, her interaction with the publishing world and readers, and the shocking amount of marketing that authors must do for themselves.

This last point is one that is becoming more and more well-known as the publishing industry evolves. Marketing department budgets are being cut, making it impossible to dole out much money for books that are not bestsellers, thus leaving it to the authors to help get themselves seen, reviewed, and sold. While I am a firm believe in word of mouth as the strongest form of marketing, there is so much more authors can do to get in touch with their readers. And those readers are the ones who can make or break an author (or a book, of course).

All that said, I was stoked to get a message from my friend Rebecca today, pointing me in the direction of an article on Media Bistro about Togather, an online resource--aka "fansourcing" site--for authors and readers alike,  helping to bring us all together in a new and fun way:

The book world seems dreary sometimes. Smart authors read to empty rooms on their book tours while Fifty Shades of Grey is present in every New York subway car. Pop-lit is consumed en masse, while talented authors have a hard time connecting with their audiences across the country, sometimes just because they’re not able to visit the places with the most enthusiastic readers.

Now, Togather, a new “fansourcing” platform, aims to put everyone on the same page. Incubated by Brooklyn’s own HUGE, Togather is an elegantly designed, intuitive site. Through it, authors post their availability for readings. Then fans can invite that author to their hometown. If enough other readers reserve books, tickets, or RSVPs for the event, the author will come and speak. The author is guaranteed a room filled with excited readers, and fans are granted access to their favorite writers.

Togather brings new optimism to the book world by giving authors more control over their marketing, and readers the power to contact previously inaccessible people. We look forward to seeing if and how the model takes hold.

See the original post HERE

Sounds pretty amazing to me. I'll have to keep an eye on this one for sure! And hey, maybe I'll even find us another author to join us for book club while I'm at it. ;)

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