Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Bookseller

Apparently most authors dread the marketing process.

Not me. As an advertising guy, I'm thinking it will be a fun challenge for me to sell my own product for a change, as opposed to other people's.

So how do you promote a book? Obviously, good reviews are the best tool. So I'm getting copies sent out to all the trade mags and ad blogs, and begging them to say nice things.

In terms of above-the-line advertising, the book world seems unsophisticated. Media appears to consist almost solely of adverts on the underground (because people read books there?) and creative is normally limited to just a picture of the book, with perhaps a short quote alongside it (e.g. "An utter delight" - Stephen Fry).

No doubt because of budgetary constraints, you very rarely see an advert for a book on TV. And when you do, they are piss-poor. This is an ad for a new book by James Patterson. It's from New Zealand. There's actually an even worse one for the same book on British telly at the moment, where two women talk in a horribly stilted manner about how hooked they are on Patterson. But, mercifully perhaps, I couldn't find it.

Why do they always say "The new bestseller from XYZ" do they know it's a bestseller if it has only just been published?

Anyway, here is my media and strategic thinking. Very happy to get feedback on it:

I reckon that most buyers of my book will be students, young creatives, and experienced creatives who are still interested in reading stuff about advertising. And the best way to reach this target? I think it's the ad blogs.

Now, I'm already asking the ad blogs to mention that my book is coming out. Hopefully they will. But I'm thinking that if I can provide them with a fun piece of content around it - a witty ad, let's say - they'll be more likely to feature the book, and it will get more attention.

I don't think it makes much difference whether the ad is a piece of film, a poster, an ambient idea or a stunt. The key thing is that it's good enough that the ad bloggers will want to cover it.

So... that's my plan. Unless a succession of commenters tell me it's rubbish.