On Monday evening there was a big crowd at the fabulous House of St Barnabas in Soho for the monthly Byte the Book event.  The talk was held in the chapel at the back of the building, which was lit by candles, and the venue was packed out.

We met to discuss “Buzz Words: How Can You Build A Community Around Your Content”, with four experts on the panel.  With Lysanne Currie (Journalist and Digital Strategist and Ex Group Editor and Head of Content Publishing at The Institute of Directors) in the Chair, the other speakers were: Piers Torday (children’s book author), Laura Lindsay (Director of Global Communications at Lonely Planet) and Leena Normington (Senior Media Producer at Vintage Books and the brains, voice and face of YouTube channel JustKissMyFrog).

Byte The Book Justine Solomons Feb 2018We came to find out about the most effective techniques needed to build an audience for our work, what online and offline techniques and tools work best, how we can make our voice heard using limited budgets, and what can we learn from other industries.

Here are some key and most interesting points made by each of the panellists:

Paul Torday: You might not have to pay for social media promotion, but as an author, it is part of your job. To create better content, you might have to invest in the odd designer Photoshop course. But the biggest cost is time – no substitute for that.

Laura Lindsay: It’s not about broadcasting, it’s a conversation.  Find ways to connect the online with the offline, don’t just create things for the sake of it.  Be consistent and have a genuine tone of voice…capitalise on what’s already taking place.

Byte the Book Feb 2018 Panel

Leena Normington: Don’t underestimate your audience, they can tell when you’re not being authentic.  Don’t worry about trying to be present and successful on all platforms. If you don’t get Twitter, leave it. Try Instagram. Find inspiring accounts and experiment with your own content.

The monthly meetings are always inspiring and it’s a great way to network, and meet new people.  The fabulous new venue now makes the evening even more enjoyable, and we can’t wait for the warmer weather when we can go out into the garden during the drinks reception.

Photo credits: Annie Poe and Byte the Book.

Find out more about Byte the Book here.