Reality Check: O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing

Disclaimer: I know O’Reilly Tools of Change is a seminar about the future. I really enjoyed it and gained many new ideas. Please take my critique in the right spirit.

O’Reilly and the publishing industry need to get real about what works and what doesn’t. There were a dozen seminars focused on social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. Twitter and Facebook have been available for several years already. By this time, we should have reliable data on their ability to sell books.
There was not even one seminar on the most powerful book-selling electronic tools, which are constantly evolving and getting better and more complex:

  • SEO & Pay-per-click
  • eMail Marketing and list management
  • e-Catalogs and printed catalogs for target consumers.

All of these outsell Twitter/Facebook 100 to 1 and in some cases 1,000 to 1. Publishers don’t really care about one day of sales or one week of sales or one book. They care primarily about sustainable ROI. Lightning strikes for all of us, but it isn’t anything we can rely on.
My Question to Other Publishers: Please, would you share what really works for you to give a trackable ROI?
No more wishful thinking. No more Emperor’s New Clothes.
I will be sharing real comparison figures in a case study in May 2010 at the ECPA Executive Leadership Summit: Industry Case Study: How Rose Publishing’s web traffic and online sales have grown during the worst recession since WW2
I hope I am wrong about social media. Here is the question I tweeted at O’Reilly TOC  in 2010 (and also in 2009): “Is anyone getting a trackable financial ROI from Twitter?” (No one in 2 years has ever responded yes.)
–the links below are generated by WordPress, not by Rose Publishing–



One Thought on “Reality Check: O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing

  1. Thank you, Adam, for the statistics. It seems that Twitter doesn’t live up to the remarkable hype.

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