If you're an author in 21st century America you have almost certainly been given the message, Use Social Media To Promote Yourself. Blog! Set up a Facebook page! Round up those Twitter followers!
Gregory Levey undoubtedly had gotten that advice, and thought it had paid off in a big way when a Facebook page dedicated to his recent book picked up an astonishing 692,000 "fans" in a matter of months. Yet Levey and his publisher, Free Press, didn't notice any particular increase in sales of the book. So, what was up?
Turns out a lot of the book's "fans" were actually just fans of the title: Shut Up, I'm Talking. (Levey's book chronicles his experiences as a speechwriter for Ariel Sharon.) Discussions on the fan page were full of "OMG"'s and "LOL"'s and people wishing they could say the book's title to someone or other, and not much about Israeli politics and international diplomacy.
So, can 692,000 fans be wrong? Maybe not, but they might be irrelevant. Time will tell.