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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K309: 社群百萬人氣 未必能轉化為書籍買氣 Social Media Is Unreliable In Publishing

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K309: Social Media Is Unreliable In Publishing

A book by Billie Eilish seemed like a great bet. One of the most famous pop stars in the world, Eilish has 97 million followers on Instagram and another 6 million on Twitter. If just a fraction of them bought her book, it would be a hit.

「怪奇比莉」出書看似穩賺不賠。身為全球數一數二的流行歌手,她在IG有9700萬追隨者,在推特有600萬,只要有一小部分捧場,書就可以大賣。

But her self-titled book has sold about 64,000 hardcover copies since it came out in May, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks most printed books sold in the United States — not necessarily a disappointing number, unless Eilish got a big advance. Which, of course, she did. The book cost her publisher well over $1 million.

不過,追蹤美國多數印刷書籍銷量的出版業數據商NPD BookScan資料顯示,她這本同名書5月上市以來,賣了大約6萬4000本精裝本。除非怪奇比莉得到一大筆預付金,銷售數字不算太差,當然,她的確收到了。這本書花了出版社超過100萬美元。

It’s difficult to predict whether a book will be a hit. Every book is different, an individual work of art or culture, so when the publishing industry tries to forecast demand for new titles, it is, however thoughtfully, guessing. Because there are so few reliable metrics to look at, social-media followings have become some of the main data points publishers use to try to make their guesses more educated.

很難預測一本書是否會熱賣。每本書都不一樣,都是個別的藝術或文化作品,所以當出版業企圖預測新書需求時,不論考慮多周到,都是用猜的。由於可檢視的可靠指標太少,社群媒體追隨者數量便成了出版社用來讓猜測變得更有依據的一些最重要數據點。

An author’s following has become a standard part of the equation when publishers are deciding whether to acquire a book. Followings can affect who gets a book deal and how big an advance that author is paid, especially when it comes to nonfiction. But despite their importance, they are increasingly seen as unpredictable gauges of how well a book is actually going to sell.

當出版社決定是否出書時,作者的追隨者數量成了算式的標準部分。追隨者數量能影響誰會獲得出書合約,以及作者能拿到多少預付版稅,尤其是非虛構作品。不過,儘管追隨者數量很重要,判斷書籍實際銷量時,卻愈來愈不可預測。

Even having one of the biggest social-media followings in the world is not a guarantee.

就算社群媒體追隨者數量在全球名列前茅,也不能保證什麼。

“The only reliable part about it,” said Shannon DeVito, director of books at Barnes & Noble, “is that it’s unreliable.”

美國邦諾圖書總監香農.德維托說:「追隨者數量唯一可靠的地方,就是它並不可靠。」

An author’s platform has long been something publishers look at — does she have a radio show, for example, or a regular guest spot on TV? But as local news outlets and book coverage have dwindled, the avenues for book publicity have shrunk, making an author’s ability to help get the word out more crucial. And when an author speaks to her followers about a book she wrote, she is talking to people who are at least a little bit interested in what she has to share.

作者的平台向來是出版社留意的地方。例如,作者有自己的廣播節目,或定期上電視節目當來賓嗎?不過,隨著地方新聞媒體和書籍相關報導式微,打書的管道也縮減,使作者的宣傳功力更形重要。而當作者對追隨者談到自己寫的書時,談話的對象至少對作者分享的東西有點興趣。

“It’s become more and more important as the years went on,” said Marc Resnick, executive editor at St. Martin’s Press. “We learned some hard lessons along the way, which is that a tweet or a post is not necessarily going to sell any books, if it’s not the right person with the right book and the right followers at the right time.”

紐約聖馬丁出版社總編輯雷斯尼克說:「隨著一年年過去,有件事變得愈來愈重要。我們一路上學到一些艱澀的教訓,那就是,如果不是對的作者寫了對的書,又在對的時間遇到對的追隨者,一則推文或貼文不見得就能把書賣出去。」Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6051423

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