Book Marketing Q&A: Neil Baptista of Odyl on Facebook for Publishers

In What's the Buzz by Hannah Johnson

Neil Baptista, CEO, Odyl

Neil Baptista, CEO, Odyl

Hear Neil Baptista speak at the Reaching Readers Book Marketing Conference on May 28 in NYC!

Social media isn’t a direct sales channel for publishers and authors. In fact, it can be complicated to track exactly how your social media activities influence book sales. However, many publishers and authors do see a correlation between successful social media activities and an increase in book sales. So what can you do to make sure your Facebook activity is really reaching your target audience?

Neil Baptista, CEO of Odyl, believes it’s about the right content reaching the right influencers on Facebook. The Odyl platform for Facebook allows publishers to offer book content, host giveaways and contests, and identify key influencers through custom analytics. Neil will speak more about social media for publishers at our Reaching Readers Book Marketing Conference on May 28 on a panel called “Social Media Followers as Brand Advocates.” He’ll be joined by Morgan Baden (Director, Social Media, Scholastic), Nancy Martira (VP, Social Media Strategist, Ketchum) and Andrew Losowsky (Senior Books Editor, Huffington Post).

Here’s a sneak peek at what Neil will talk about:

What types of social media engagement have you found to be most effective for authors and publishers?

We’ve seen authors do well on Twitter and Facebook. It depends on the authenticity of their interactions and what platform they feel most comfortable with. Facebook does offer more opportunities and tools supporting engagement, audience development and measurement. It also has a much larger audience. [Twitter has 200 million monthly active users. Facebook has 1.1 billion monthly active users.]

Brett Easton Ellis was an early adopter of Odyl

Brett Easton Ellis was an early adopter of Odyl

Which is the key to spreading your message through social media: gathering huge numbers of fans or connecting more closely with key influencers?

It’s clearly about being authentic and engaging rather than focussing on numbers. Malcolm Gladwell talks about Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen and the roles they play in social epidemics. We help identify these players and make sure that we are communicating with them.

The Odyl platform uses content marketing concepts to help publishers grow their fan base. Can you elaborate on how that works?

Our content marketing platform is based on the simple idea that people who are genuinely interested will share fun or exclusive content about a book or author. Our platform makes it super simple to create content formats that are optimized for Facebook. The platform also has built-in custom analytics to measure engagement and to identify who your influencers are. It enables a feedback loop to help you understand what content is resonating and who the audience is.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.