By Scott Lorenz
One of the most fascinating stories to kick off 2015 featured Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the powerful social media giant Facebook, announcing his New Year’s Resolution to read a new book every other week, and invited all his Facebook Friends to join him in the effort.
The result is A Year Of Books, is essentially the Mark Zuckerberg Book Club – even though Zuckerberg appears to carefully avoid calling it that.
Unlike Oprah Winfrey’s famous book club, the purpose of Mark’s new entry is not to boost book sales; he wants to promote the reading and discussion of books. Because of the unprecedented market reach of Facebook, I can predict without hesitation that the day will come soon when Mark Zuckerberg’scommunity will surpass Oprah’s Book Club. True, Oprah is a strong force among American readers, but Zuckerberg reaches the entire world, delivering a mass audience exceeding 1.35 billion users.
In A Year of Books, Zuckerberg has created a Facebook community page, so readers can read the same book then share their impressions and ideas about it. The first work Zuckerberg chose was The End of Power, by Moises Naim.
“We will read a new book every two weeks and discuss it here,” explains Zuckerberg on his new page. “Our books will emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. Suggestions for new books to read are always welcome. We ask that everyone who participates read the books, and we will moderate the discussions and group membership to keep us on topic.”
Shortly after Zuckerberg suggested The End of Power as the first book to be read, it sold out on amazon.com. So we can expect the his book club to be very influential in the international literary community. The new venture was announced over the first weekend of the New Year, and by Monday morning had more than 135,000 Likes.
I think it is a great idea for Mark Zuckerberg to use the broad reach of Facebook to encourage people everywhere to do more reading. And if the idea catches on, which I am pretty sure it will, than the world will be a better place by far because of the increase in reading by many who otherwise limit their exposure to television, tablets, and smartphones.
Zuckerberg admits as much when commenting on his new venture: “I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.”
For authors, A Year of Books offers a fine opportunity to promote their books by nominating their book to be included amongst Zuckerberg’s every other week choices. But do not waste your time nominating a book of fiction, romance, mystery, adventure, intrigue or a similar genre. Mark has made it clear he is only interested in books dealing with new beliefs, new cultures, histories and technologies. As an example, I nominated an art photography book with a heavy emphasis on the history of Paris – The Glow of Paris – The Bridges of Paris at Night by Gary Zuercher. To post a nomination simply go to the Facebook Community, “A Year of Books,” and go to the post discussion column on the left-side of the page.
The Atlantic magazine predicts that Zukerberg’s New Year’s resolution will have far-reaching effects: “Facebook isn’t just a social publishing platform or an online destination; Facebook wants to be part of everything you do online. It wants to be, as Carr put it, the “fabric of the mobile world,” which means the company’s growth depends on a slew of projects that have little to do with status updates. Facebook wants to build the infrastructure of our online lives, which, in a mobile world, turns out to be the infrastructure of our offline lives, too.”
The New York Times reported: “For publishers, an unanticipated endorsement from a celebrity or chief executive can be both a dream come true and a logistical nightmare. But responding to sudden spikes in demand has become easier with advances in digital publishing. A few years ago, Perseus created a digital platform, Constellation, that allows it to quickly fulfill new orders. While in the past it might have taken two to three weeks to print and ship additional copies, the company can now restock a book almost instantly. “The End of Power” was listed as out of stock for a few hours on Monday, but quickly became available again.”
2015 has just begun, but Mark Zuckerberg’s Resolution shows that we are off to a great and memorable start that will certainly result in new opportunities for authors, readers, and book publishers. When Facebook users join together every two weeks to read the same book, the world will change in ways we cannot now begin to grasp. But change it will.
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist