Is Tumblr Right For Your Book?
Welcome guest columnist, Karma Bennett, Publicist, Social Media Consultant and Writer. When I met Karma recently at a meeting for book publicists and those interested in book publicity (like me!) I was struck by her bubbly nature and her absolute passion for Tumblr. So I begged to write a post on the topic. She wrote me two! Today’s post asks if Tumblr is right for your book. Tomorrow’s posts goes into how you can use Tumblr to attract your potentials readers to your books. Enjoy! And let us know if you have any questions!
Is Tumblr Right For Your Book?
Tumblr is the original microblog. It’s a fantastic resource for authors, and much easier to use than other blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger.
What is Tumblr?
Tumblr is a site that combines the capabilities of long-form blogging with the quick-and-dirty link-sharing of social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Imagine if you got rid of all the apps, photos, games and sidebars on Facebook and just had the lifestream. Then imagine the lifestream was twice as big and you had a lot more control over the way your content looks. What you’d have would be similar to Tumblr. Or working in the other direction, imagine you simplified WordPress and focused on making the posts as easy to share with your friends as it is to retweet a link on Twitter. This is the definition of a microblog—something between blogging and social media.
For example, let’s say you were recently kidnapped by aliens. On a traditional blog, you would write one long post with all your thoughts, feelings and video summarized much like a multi-media magazine article. On Tumblr, you would make one post that was a video of the space ship and another post of two paragraphs where you reflect on the human-alien language barrier. The photos you could queue to post one every day. On Tumblr the posts are usually shorter, and focus on one piece of media, whether it’s a photo, video, song, or text.
The thing that makes Tumblr so addictive is the same thing that makes it fantastic for book publicity: the reblog. It would be a big no-no to repost the entirety of someone else’s post in the blogging community. But on Tumblr, this behavior is encouraged, the way retweets and shares are encouraged on Twitter and Facebook.
If you see something you like, you hit the reblog button, add your own commentary at the top, and post it to your own Tumblr. There is also a heart option that is similar to the Facebook like. Many people spend hours scouring the Tumblr community for content to reblog on their own site, so if your posts are properly tagged it’s very easy for your posts to get discovered—much easier than it would be to get discovered on, say, a Google search.
Who Uses Tumblr?
Tumblr is the 37th most-popular website in the world, but its audience skews young. The typical Tumblr user is a young woman, aged 18-24, that is perusing the site from school. She is most likely college-educated, or college-bound. If your book is about fashion, TV, politics (especially feminism), architecture, celebrities, cooking, music or photography you should be on Tumblr.
Any book that fits into the Lifestyle section of the newspaper would fit in. Fiction authors can succeed with Tumblr, especially if your book appeals to a younger audience. Conversely, if your author profile photo requires that you wear a business suit, Tumblr is probably not the right platform for you.
Now that you have some idea of what Tumblr is and who uses it, hold tight! Tomorrow we’re going to let you know how to make the most of your Tumblr blog.
Karma Bennett is a publicist, social media consultant, and writer. She has Tumblr blogs on music, San Francisco, and writing but if you want to see her all grown-up and profesh, check out the page she is building from scratch at karmabennett.com. You may find her singing and dancing in public, usually at the grocery store.