Mark Terry

Monday, August 20, 2007

Promoting Your Novel the New-Fashioned Way?

August 20, 2007
This was in today's ShelfAwareness. I admit, I have to raise my eyebrows. There's not enough information here and it's entirely anecdotal, but...

How does a bestseller happen? At the Huffington Post, Tim Ferriss wrote a "case study" on the recent appearance of his book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

"How is this possible?" he asked. "How could a book from a first-time author--with no offline advertising or PR--hit both of these lists and stick for three months and counting? . . . Is it all luck? Not all. Luck and timing play a (sometimes big) part, but it seems to me that one can still analyze the game and tilt the odds in their favor. I don't claim to have all of the answers--I still know very little about publishing--but I've done enough micro-testing in the last year to fill a lifetime.

The conclusion, in retrospect, is simple . . . It all came down to learning how to spread a 'meme,' an idea virus that captures imaginations and takes on a life of its own."Along with a great meme strategy, Ferriss cited eyebrow-raising advice he received from other bestselling authors in answer to his question, "What were the 1-3 biggest wastes of time and money?" First on that list turned out to be "no book touring or bookstore signings whatsoever. Not a one. All of the best-selling authors warned against this author rite of passage."

Mark Terry


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

I think a lot of Internet marketing ideas work initially because they are novel and catch people's attention but don't necessarily continue to work for other writers after the novelty has worn off. But I think most of us can reach far more potential readers via the Internet than we can physically.

8:35 AM  

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