Have a book you want to promote? For a nice overview, check out expert Dave Pollard’s article on viral marketing. At the core viral marketing is all about the talk, the buzz, but what mystifies everyone is how exactly do you work up that contagious word-of-mouth that is so necessary and that may very well have–dare I repeat Pollard?–replaced advertising.
Viral marketing is not a new concept as testified to by the Phoenix Business Journal’s 1999 article. Just last year Abram Sauer at BrandChannel.com asked the inevitable question: Are You Sick of Viral Marketing?
And you thought all you had to do was sit down and write the book.
Let me know how your experiment works out.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how to spread my own contagion. Will over at Youngest of One sent me an email the other day that surprised me. Apparently he took it upon himself to order my first teen novel, DIVIDED LOYALTIES, and said he’d finished the book, liked the story, and planned to mention it on his blog. Let me say how much I appreciate Will taking his time and his money to buy and read my book. I appreciate his wanting to spend an evening reading my work. (I’m glad he didn’t tell me ahead of time, though, because I would have probably been on pins and needles, super-anxious, and wrought with writer’s angst as I waited for his response.) So imagine my surprise the other day when an email from Will full of praise floated into my email box. While I have enjoyed a number of good reviews from adult readers and reviewers and am delighted to have learned that they enjoyed the story, I can’t tell you how much pleasure I receive when someone in the target age range responds the way Will did: "There’s nothing teens respond to more than inner turmoil, so you are quite fortunate that you write it SO well."
For any writer, knowing you’ve hit the appropriate market squarely on target adds so much to the writing experience after the work has gone public and begun to grow a life of its own. I also owe a debt to Will for having read the book because, while the story does involve the daily life and challenges experienced by the main character in the realm of family, school and friends, it also details the early moments of a relationship and all the angst it can cause. While I assumed the story would play well with the girls, I wasn’t sure how the book would be received by the boys. And knowing he plans to read the newest book, VIDEO MAGIC, is very cool, indeed. (Of course, I do have to keep in mind that Will is a friend, still . . . . )
If you’d like to read what Will said on his blog, you’ll find his comments at the end of this post. So, dear writers, if you wonder why you would want to try your hand at a blog, this may be one reason. If I had never started to blog, I would never have run across Will and his blog. We would never have become online friends, and he probably would never have become a reader of my work. And mention of my book would never have appeared on his blog–a blog, I might add, that is mainly targeted to other kids his age. If someone reads his comment or reads about my response to his comment and buys my book and then recommends it to someone else, well then, that’s when the DIVIDED LOYALTIES viral marketing will begin.
Personally, I hope it’s a Super Bug–thanks, Will.