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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Franzen’

Jennifer Weiner to Jonathan Franzen: Twitter Isn’t Evil and All Writers Are ‘Self-Promoters’

What about "An American Novelist?"How do we classify a popular novelist’s Twitter feed: is it marketing? personal branding? public relations? It’s a bit of a grey area. But, as Jennifer Weiner so politely told Jonathan Franzen this week, social media is a necessary tool for any writer who wants to engage with his or her audience.

Yes, this is a literary spat, but stick with us: it will feel very familiar to anyone in marketing, advertising or PR.

We like Franzen because he writes good novels, but he’s also an ivy tower contrarian who feels compelled to talk down to the young and unenlightened among us. This week The Guardian ran an excerpt from his latest long-form essay opus under the frightening title “What’s Wrong with the Modern World?”, and it’s an epic rant. Some key points:

  • The instant gratification of social media is destroying our ability to focus and create real value
  • Marketing has led us to define ourselves by the brands we buy (“I’m a Mac guy”)
  • Amazon reviews are the worst thing that ever happened to publishing
  • Writers who engage with the public via social are diluting the integrity of their profession

These are generalizations worth considering, but we’re more interested in his personal attacks on fellow authors who turn to social media to “brand” themselves.

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Was ‘The New Yorker’ Facebook Campaign a Winner?

Last week we wrote about The New Yorker‘s campaign offering fans who clicked the Facebook “like” button a chance to read a story by Jonathan Franzen that had been posted on the social networking site. Now, Business Insider is declaring the campaign a success by an even bigger margin than the 16,000 “likes” reported on Bloggasm. The magazine gained 17,209 “likes” by the time the story came down on Monday. And it got media hits in The Atlantic, Time‘s Techland blog, and other outlets and thousands of tweets.

But we’ll still keep an eye peeled for the next social media step from The New Yorker. This is definitely a win in the short run. Now that they’ve got all this attention, the question is: Can they keep it?

‘The New Yorker’ Using Facebook to Attract Long-Form Fans

If you like The New Yorker, then you’re already getting the magazine and reading it’s stories, which are far wordier than most stories being published in major magazines today. (And in many cases far better. Seriously, The New Yorker can be unbelievably great at times.)

If you “like” The New Yorker, for a limited time, you can read a 12,000-word story by Jonathan Franzen (author of The Corrections and Freedom) titled “Farther Away” on Facebook. Content from The New Yorker is usually behind a paywall.

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