The Muse 2014 | Social Media Mart

We are thrilled to launch our first-ever Social Media Mart, in which an experienced and established online media consultant will evaluate your web presence – including your personal website, Twitter and Facebook presence, blog and/or other platforms -- in advance and meet with you at the conference to provide direct feedback on everything from design to voice. This one-on-one, 20-minute session will be scheduled for you during the conference. Social Media Mart sessions may overlap with other sessions, and are allocated before the conference on a first-come, first-served basis.

How to Sign Up

1.) Research the available online media consultants.
We have provided their bios, appropriate handles and an organized list of which platforms they will evaluate to help you choose the best possible match for your work. We also encourage you to visit their own websites and online platforms for additional insight. With each name you will see the number of slots remaining with that consultant.

2.) Register and pay for the conference online.
During the registration process, select your first and second choice of person you'd like to meet. Please do NOT select the same consultant twice for any choice. You may reserve slots with up to 3 consultants during registration; to make additional appointments please email Alison Murphy at The cost of the Social Media Mart is $145 per appointment, and you must register for the conference as a one-day or full weekend participant in order to secure a Social Media Mart appointment.

Once you have made your first and second choices for your Social Media Mart consultant, we are not able to accommodate any changes to your requests. If, for any reason, a consultant is not able to keep his/her appointment, we will either refund 100% of the fee or place you with another consultant.

Registration is conducted on a strictly first-come, first-served basis, so you are encouraged to register early and to research your choice fully.

Please note that your registration for sessions and for the Social Media Mart represents a series of your REQUESTS to be placed with a particular agent or editor, and NOT official placement. One week before the conference, we will email you a final itinerary of all your sessions and applicable Social Media Mart, Manuscript Mart and/or Lunch Table appointments, based on the preferences you submit here. While it's extremely likely that you will be placed with all your top choices if those choices are available at the time of registration, we cannot guarantee those placements. GrubStreet reserves the right to make changes to our conference offerings at any time due to unforeseen circumstances, but will always let you know in advance if we need to do so.

3.) Fill out this form, which directs the consultant to your various online platforms.
There is no limit to the number of online platforms on which your consultant will advise you, but we ask you to indicate which seem most important to you now. The Social Media Mart form is due by Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 5:00pm. By this time, you also must have fully completed registration and payment. Under no circumstances can we accept Social Media Mart registrations or submission form after the deadline, and we cannot offer refunds or credits if you do not submit your form on time.

4.) Relax and wait!
By Friday, April 25th, your official Social Media Mart placements and appointment times. If you register for the conference before March 14th, 2014 we will happily tell you your most likely placement after that date. Please email to receive this information.


Porter Anderson / @Porter_Anderson, BA, MA, MFA, is a journalist, speaker, and consultant specializing in book publishing and its digital disruption. He is programming the first-ever BookExpo America (BEA) setting for entrepreneurial authors, the uPublishU AUTHOR HUB, for the trade-show floor of #BEA14, May 29-31, 2014. He is speaking at the Klopotek Publishers Forum 2014 in Berlin this spring, and his Porter Anderson Media consultancy is a Media Partner with the London Book Fair #LBF14. He also has spoken this year at the all-new London Author Fair and at Bath Spa University in the UK, as well as at the debut of PubSmart, a new conference for writers in his hometown, Charleston.

Anderson's weekly "Porter Anderson Meets" newsmaker interview is read in London's The Bookseller and conducted live on Twitter with the hashtag #PorterMeets. His "Writing on the Ether" column is read at His Issues on the Ether, a column and live discussion hashtagged #EtherIssue, is read on the international Publishing Perspectives site produced by the Frankfurt Book Fair. Anderson’s media outlets have included CNN-USA, CNN International,, and The Village Voice, The Dallas Times Herald, and many others.

His diplomatic posting to Rome with the United Nations made him the World Food Programme’s first Creative Advisor and Multimedia Manager. He also served as Executive Producer with INDEX: Design to Improve Life, the Danish government's program to award international humanitarian design. More is at

Michael Borum has been working in digital media since 1994, holding in leadership positions at agencies and non-profits in technical, marketing, and creative roles. In addition to his extensive corporate experience, he established his own digital marketing agency, etherweave, in 2002, with a mission to serve writers, artists, and small non-profits. Since then, Michael has worked with over 60 authors (across multiple genres), publishing houses, and literary agencies to help them build strong and successful online presences. His clients have included authors Steve Almond, Christopher Castellani, Kevin Young, Margot Livesey, Scott Heim, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, Stephen McCauley, Aminatta Forna, Elinor Lipman, Michael Lowenthal, Stacy Schiff, Caryl Phillips, Tom Perrotta, Robin Hemley, Mameve Medwed, Carla Kaplan, Michael Rowe, Peter Spiegelman, Cormac McCarthy (for whom he developed a website on behalf of Knopf), Alfred A. Knopf, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, PEN New England, and GrubStreet. He resides in Boston, where he works for international non-profit Oxfam America.

Crystal King is a 20 year marketing and communications veteran. Currently she manages social media for Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and has led global social media programs for companies such as CA Technologies and Sybase. Crystal is also a freelance writer and Pushcart-nominated poet who has recently finished her first novel and embarking upon her second. She holds an M.A. in Critical & Creative Thinking from UMass Boston where she centered her thesis on developing a system to help fiction writers in progress. Crystal has taught classes in writing, creativity and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art and UMass Boston. Find her on Facebook at, on Twitter at and on Google+ at

Kristen McLean is a book futurist, a consumer zoologist, and an idea omnivore. She is also the founder and CEO of Bookigee, a Miami-based company conducts market research and data analytics for the book-publishing ecosystem. She is particularly well known for her research on the children's side of the industry, as well as her ideas regarding the changing landscape for authors and publishers. Kristen is an eighteen-year veteran of the book business with a wide range of experience including retail, marketing, and consumer research. As leading industry analyst, she speaks and consults all around the world about the digital transformation of books, reading, smart data, and new strategies for the publishing business. Follow her on Twitter @BKGKristen.

Lauren Vargas, Head of Social Media and Community at Aetna, is based in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a well known community management blogger and speaker who has developed an expertise in integrating social media tools into marketing and business strategy.

Vargas is a multi-faceted communications professional with experience in internal and external corporate communications, governmental affairs and community relations. As a professional and former adjunct university professor, she assists companies and second-career students engage with the communities they serve by fostering authentic relationships built on trust through conversations and participatory media.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Why did you create this new offering for Muse 2014?
In evaluations from previous conferences, students told us they very much enjoyed the sessions they have attended on topics such as “Best Practices for Social Media,” “How to Develop a Twitter Voice,” “Building Readers Online,” “Approaches to Your Author Website,” and the like. Students found these sessions informative and helpful to set up their online profiles, then later realized they needed an individualized, objective, targeted and hands-on assessment of how they are presenting themselves online. Most of us are used to getting feedback on our online presence from fellow writers, friends or fans – think of all those “Likes” you get on Facebook, or ReTweets, etc. – but not necessarily from those who develop online strategies for a living. The Social Media Mart is a rare opportunity to receive meaningful and affordable feedback on your online presence from an experienced industry professional.

2.) What will I get out of this?
Direct and honest assessment of your website design and functionality, the “persona” you’ve created on Facebook, Twitter, your personal blog, and/or other online platforms, and how all of these are fitting together to connect with your audience. The consultant will help you understand if you are maximizing your opportunities online, if you are spending your resources (read: time and money) wisely, how you might revise or streamline your approach, what other potential markets you can reach. They will also respond to the direct questions you ask in your submission form.

3.) No, literally, what will I get out of this?
After the consultant receives your submission form, s/he will fill out a feedback form to give to you at your meeting. To prepare that feedback form, the consultant will spend a significant amount of time on your website/blog, following you on Twitter and/or Facebook and/or other platforms, and getting a sense of how you are presenting yourself to the public. The feedback form will also include recommended action steps for you.

4.) I don’t have a website or Twitter account, and I only use Facebook for personal use. Should I still meet with someone to get me started?
We designed the Social Media Mart for writers who already have an online presence. Unfortunately, we do not feel your time and money will be best spent by meeting one-on-one at this time unless you have a web presence for the consultants to evaluate. We encourage you to attend the many conference sessions on this topic as a way of giving you practical tools to begin creating your persona and building your audience online.

5.) Do I have to be published to get the most out of the Social Media Mart?
No! Many publishers encourage their authors to build an online presence years before their books come out. In fact, authors with a strong and professional and coherent online presence /platform are often looked upon more favorably by publishers when they are deciding whether or not to acquire a new book. 5.) How do I know which consultant is right for me?
The consultant’s bio will give you a strong indication of his or her experience in this field. You will also want to do some research and spend a reasonable amount of time following him or her online, visiting his or her website, etc.

6.) Now that I've picked my consultant and registered for the conference, how should I prepare for my meeting?
The best way to prepare is to be as active online as you have been until now. This will give the consultant an accurate sense of how you’ve been presenting yourself and attempting to build your audience.

7.) What should I expect when I arrive at the Social Media Mart?
Your registration packet, which you will pick up on the Mezzanine Level of the Park Plaza Hotel, will indicate the time of your meeting and in which room it will be held. (You will also know this information the week before the conference). Please arrive a few minutes early to the room and check in again with one of our volunteers, who will cross your name off the list. When the time comes for the meeting, the volunteers will lead you to a table, where you will sit with your consultant, who will have a laptop with him/her open to your website/Twitter feed/Facebook page or whichever platform on which you are mainly focusing. Other meetings will be going on around you simultaneously, but we have spread out the tables across the room to cut down on the noise.

8.) What's the meeting like? What should I say? What will the consultant say?
We expect the meetings to be warm, friendly and professional. The agent/editor will "lead" the meeting and, given the time constraints, likely launch immediately into his/her feedback on your work. S/he may also begin by asking you questions. Throughout the meeting, you should expect to hear critical feedback that sometimes can be difficult to process or accept. Please remember that if consultant does not respond glowingly to your online presence and does not offer you unqualified praise, that does NOT mean you have wasted your time online thus far; nor does it mean that the critique can not be used constructively.

9.) Should I bring anything to the session?
Because the conversation can be overwhelming, we suggest you take notes on a laptop or notebook. You are also welcome to record your in-person session so that you can take full advantage of the insight the consultant is offering, especially issues that arise organically from your conversation.

Still have questions about the Social Media Mart?

You may direct them to Alison Murphy at