Archive for the ‘book marketing’ Category

Book Clubbing

Friday, July 14th, 2006

I don’t know when this trend started, but editors seem gaga when a book, whether fiction or non-fiction, has a club or a group in it.

Maybe it started with Sex and the City, or maybe it was just those non-fiction Sweet Potato Queens, but it seems like every publisher likes a book with a club in it. And the Jane Austen Book Club was a bestseller. (I once even heard an editor at USA Weekend say something to the effect that if anyone ever published a novel called The Over the Hill Dating Club, she would cover it as part of a dating trend piece.)

Club books often sell at high prices– Yoga Mamas sold at auction– and the latest “club” book mentioned by Publisher’s Weekly was sold via a seven house auction. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a debut novel by Mary Ann Shaffer. It’s about neighbors who survive the Nazi occupation who by meeting over potato peel pie to discuss classic novels.

With seven houses involved, this book fetched a high price. Yes, it’s probably well-written. And yes, there’s a historical factor.

But I believe the best money making factor that had seven houses bidding was that it’s about a club.

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Do Big Names Market Harder Than You?

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Lately, I’ve noticed a rash of well-known authors and film directors making smart marketing moves that unknown authors should emulate.

Frankly, if you’re writing a book proposal– you should include ideas like these in your marketing section.

Two of my favorites come from Kevin Smith, the director of the upcoming film Clerks II, as well as Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl.

Smith is an established director with a built-in fan base, but he’s still working hard to attract new fans– particularly Generation Y fans– in other words, the MySpace crowd.

Smith is giving the first 10,000 people to add one of the movie’s pages to their “friends list” a credit on both the movie and the DVD.

But not only that–he’s also running a banner contest. The top 11 people who get the Clerks II banner on the most websites, message boards, MySpace boards and blogs win prizes.

First prize is a walk on part in Smith’s next movie. The contest is at:

By the way, one side benefit of creating interesting marketing is that people like me, with blogs, and newsletters, write about you.

More tomorrow.

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