Old-school book publishers are still trying to figure out how best to reach audiences on the Web and build online communities for their authors. That was the takeaway of a talk this week at Mashup 2007, a conference held in San Francisco that focused on teens and tech.
Diane Naughton, vice president of marketing at HarperCollins Children's Books, said that the challenge has shifted from the publishing industry holding the Internet at arm's length to worries about how to prove value from online marketing efforts.
One way HarperCollins plans to tackle this challenge is to team up with MySpace, according to Naughton. In the fall, the social network plans to build and launch a new "create and share" writing tool in partnership with HarperCollins, Naughton said in an interview at Mashup. Teens and college kids on the site can write prose and then share it with friends on MySpace. People can then vote on the best writing, she said.
"Offline and online have very much (merged) the last couple of years in terms of marketing," she said.