Odyl Launches with a Facebook Audience Development Platform for Book Publishers and Authors

Odyl helps authors and publishers find, engage and grow their audience on Facebook

Sep 13, 2011, 09:00 ET from Odyl

NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Odyl (www.odyl.net) today unveiled the first social marketing platform designed specifically for book publishers and authors to help them connect and share with readers. Designed for publishing houses of all sizes as well as individual authors, Odyl's audience development platform leverages Facebook's vast membership and social power to amplify word-of-mouth and sharing of great content in order to grow their audiences and drive sales.

Available publicly starting today, the Odyl platform is already used to manage millions of fans by the "Big Six" publishing houses (Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Group, Random House and Simon & Schuster), as well as numerous New York Times bestselling authors including Katie Couric, Suze Orman, and Janet Evanovich.

Random House Publishing Group uses Odyl's tools for the Facebook presence of #1 New York Times bestselling author Evanovich. They created a branded page with polls, quizzes, video, virtual gifts and excerpts to keep conversations buzzing among Evanovich's large Facebook fan base. Engagement numbers are stellar, with the app reaching an estimated 600,000 Facebook users in the first 3 months.  

“There is no denying that social media has been a top priority for us, with word-of-mouth having such a powerful impact on people’s reading choices,” said Matt Schwartz, V.P., Director of Digital Marketing Strategy and Product Development at Random House Publishing Group. “Creating and managing Janet's Facebook-enabled book promotion was simple, cost-effective and very successful. Odyl's technology helped us build buzz and engagement that forges deeper connections between Janet and her audience. It gives readers the chance to engage and share content related to Janet’s novels more than ever before.”

Book publishing is a changing, vibrant market moving strongly into digital and social marketing. However, building an online audience for authors and books is no small task for publishers with hundreds, if not thousands, of individual titles in a given year. Rapidly scalable and featuring tools designed for the specific needs of publishers and authors, the Odyl Software-as-a-Service platform is a proven social marketing system that transforms passionate readers into vocal evangelists. Unique features of the Odyl platform include:

  • Exclusive author/book content – Offer book excerpts, trailers, author interviews, music playlists, games and more in exchange for people giving you a 'Like.'
  • Reader growth – Track key audience metrics and understand reader profiles like never before.
  • Simplicity – No programming required.
  • Publisher giveaways – Provide books, galleys, e-readers, trips and other great prizes, all conforming to Facebook's promotion guidelines.
  • Reader polls, quizzes, virtual gifts – Create provocative and fun quizzes about authors, characters and offer free, branded gifts that fans give to friends.
  • Goodreads reviews and other content – Automatically import reviews, author blog posts, tour dates, Scribd docs, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and many more feeds.
  • Photo and writing contests – Harness Facebook photo sharing so that fans' entire friend networks come to your page to vote on friends' pictures.

"Avon has used Odyl's tools successfully for over a year in support of our marketing efforts on Facebook," said Pamela Spengler-Jaffee, senior publicity director, Avon/Morrow at HarperCollins Publishers. "We created the 'Pretty New Face' tab for our Avon Romance Facebook page to offer our readers access to giveaways, excerpts, book trailers, fun quizzes and seductive polls. Over the past year, we've more than doubled audience and readers have published nearly a million News Feed stories to their friends directly from the Odyl-powered Pretty New Face app."

"Social media is a perfect fit for the content-rich world of book publishing, which is why publishers are shifting their digital strategies to invest heavily in social marketing. They understand that a successful launch and healthy shelf life depend on reaching and engaging a large audience," said Mike Taylor, Odyl CEO. "Without a proper social media push, authors may just as well be passing out copies of a book from their front steps on a rainy day. Odyl helps authors and readers bond in exciting and previously unachievable ways, bringing readers into the author's world and massively expanding the trusted friend-to-friend relationship on Facebook. This connection sells books."

About Odyl

Odyl is a social marketing technology company, focused on the unique needs of book publishers and authors. Odyl's audience development platform provides a proven way for publishers – including the Big Six – and authors to find, engage and grow their audience, leveraging the reach and sharing power of Facebook. Odyl enables deep connections between readers and the authors who inspire them, and builds real-world sales. More at http://www.odyl.net and on the Odyl blog.

Jim Cook