Social Media and Macmillan vs. Amazon: A Lost Opportunity

Ami Greko, at the publishing/ social networking blog The New Sleekness, wrote up a smart post today about how Macmillan’s lack of a formal corporate social media strategy made for a lost opportunity to make the most of the debate that arose this weekend. While bloggers, Twitterers, and authors all over were weighing in–often in support of Macmillan–the publisher was not present in social media to take advantage those responses.

Here’s more from Greko:

Unfortunately, since Macmillan doesn’t have an established social media strategy as a corporation, or an official, empowered spokesperson who has spent the time building a respected and trusted presence in this arena, they didn’t have a way to leverage the support, or respond to their detractors.

No, ‘thank you!’ response to the number of indie booksellers who announced on Twitter that they would support Macmillan by hand-selling their titles. No comments on the blogs of authors like John Scalzi or Tobias Buckell, who wrote insightful, even-handed posts about the dispute and urged their readers to understand Macmillan’s side.

But most importantly, without a corporate social media strategy, the company couldn’t leverage a response to authors like Cory Doctorow, or blogs like the Business Insider, who both raised legitimate concerns about the nature of this fight and its impact on authors.

The Macmillan vs. Amazon fight proves that publishing is hardly a 9-5, weekday enterprise (this all unfolded over the weekend!), and big publishers can no longer pretend that the business is only the province of businessmen. All parties involved are much more savvy, and publishers need to reach out on everyone’s terms. This ain’t your father’s publishing industry–really, it’s your screen-fixated nephew’s.