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Facebook and Other Tidbits from the eContent Front

FacebookThis article sheds some light on one author's attempt to leverage Facebook as he launches his upcoming novel.  OK, so it only involved about 200 of his Facebook friends, but still, it's great to see authors experimenting like this.  Thanks to all the new applications being written for it, Facebook is a very powerful and extensible platform; within the next 2-3 years I bet we'll see a lot more of this and on a much grander scale (e.g., with more bells and whistles, offering richer content, attracting many more readers and evolving into a true community discussion/collaboration area).

That's not all this article has to offer, though.  Here are a couple of other interesting items that caught my eye:

  • That Million Penguins project ended rather uneventfully.  If anything, a project like this can only give wikis everywhere a bad name.  Come makes the "million monkeys with a million typewriters" theory sound practical.  What were the chances that the world was going to come together and write a novel via wiki?  Reference works and tutorials, sure, but a novel?!
  • I hadn't heard of this Inside Facebook ebook prior to reading this article.  I've been working on my own Facebook presence and could use some pointers.  I like the way the author is promoting it, but he should really rethink the 12-page excerpt he's offering as a teaser -- it's mostly frontmatter and doesn't get into the real book till there's only about 3 pages left in the sampler.  So here's my free self-publishing tip of the day: If you're going to offer a free excerpt from your book, make sure it's from a meaty chapter.  Don't be afraid to give away a tip or two; it only shows you know your stuff and that readers can expect even more great insight when they buy the entire book.


Ellen Gerstein

A Wiley author, Ben Casnocha, has a Facebook group to promote his book. It's an interesting idea that we are looking to do for other titles, but it's nice to see this coming from the author. Gives it a different flavor. We've also got a Dummies Fan Club and a Wrox group on Facebook, ripe and ready for joining.

Yes, your Facebook page needs some "pimping". My favorite recent Facebook quote is, "Poke is the new Ping."

Anthony S. Policastro

Hi Joe,
Thanks for the link - interesting article.

I think you are right about seeing more online serialization of books. I see it as inevitable evolution in the publishing business. After all, really started it with their "Search inside" feature. I use it for every book I browse there to see if I like the author's voice, the writing and the story.

Dean Koontz recently posted the first two chapters of The Good Guy on in addition to an article he wrote on how he created the book. After reading the first two chapters, I was hooked, got the book, and even wrote a review at

Aaron Strout

Joe -- here is a link to a blog post about 12 ways to use Facebook for professional purposes.


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