Tips From Observing the “Big Six” Book Publishers’ Utilization of Social Media

There are six major book publishers spanning across the vastly diverse lands of North America. They are: HarperCollins, Random House, Penguin Group, Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan.

These companies — aptly referred to collectively as the “big six” – have been around for seemingly ever. They have hundreds of publishing firms existing as subsidiaries under each of them, with nearly all such subsidiaries tracing back in some way, shape or form, to one of the six.

 So how exactly are these big guns utilizing the likes of Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter and the rest?


>> Flying Purposefully Against the Grain


Taking a look at some of what these guys are doing on Facebook offers us some really clear insight into the fact that many of these companies are using social media in a unique way.


For instance, Random House is infamous for constantly updating their Facebook page each day – almost too much according to some. With an average of about 3-4 updates per day on their page, it’s really no wonder how they’ve so effortlessly accumulated just under 40,000 likes thus far. On the other hand, we have Hachette, who doesn’t update their page nearly as much (if at all it seems), which you could probably also attribute their measly just-over 4,000 current likes.


But not all is as it appears to be here, because when we take a closer look, it becomes clear that Hachette – instead of focusing their efforts and resources on consistently updating their own Facebook page – instead chooses to utilize those resources helping to promote the Facebook pages of the authors under their umbrella (in addition to some of the more well-down Hachette fan pages).


>> Pint-Sized Book Clubs


Who ever thought that the 140-character limit on Twitter would somehow be overcome creatively to yield… book clubs?


That’s right! Leave it to Penguin USA to start up the trend of selecting a book each month by one of its authors and then subsequently get said book read via a monthly book club viral #readpenguin hash-tag meeting. True, it seems genius, but all such an idea really takes is a bit of ingenuity, creativity, and some good old-fashioned thinking outside of the box!


>> Tumbling Your Way to Free Book Promotion


At this point, if you haven’t yet realized the sheer, raw potential of Tumblr for connecting with fans/potential readers and generally not only promoting your Kindle Book but your own singular voice as an author… well, maybe you need to start doing some more research.


Out of the big six we’re talking about here, Harper Collins appears to be the current leader in the Battle for Tumblr, with a multitude of their featured staff blog posts combining with refreshingly creative Tumblr promotional ideas such as their infamous “Seen on the Subway” campaign to truly shake up the social media game while also showing us just how expertly things can be done.


 While we don’t all have the resources of these companies, observing how they build their fan base with social media may inspire your own campaigns and promotional efforts.

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