I often hear people say authors need to create a buzz to gain followers and sell books. That’s a lot easier said than done. How do we create a buzz? Maybe if your new book has something to do with a current event or issue, people will talk about it. But what if your new book is for entertainment and not enlightenment?
Most of my books have been for entertainment, but my current Bogey Man Work-in-Progress (WIP) has to do with homeless people. It covers a current issue, but I’m hoping it will also be entertaining. Yes, you can include both in a story. I’m not an expert on the homeless population, but I pay attention. I’m a people watcher – always have been. I pay attention to stories in the newspaper and on the news.
Okay, what could I do to create a buzz about this story? I could play up the Bogey Man’s eccentric grandmother, Tillie, who’s just moved to town. I could play up the dreaded heatwave that’s plaguing Los Angeles in this story and its effect on the homeless. I could do both. While Chris Cross (the Bogey Man) and his wife Pamela prepare to open their new supper club, Tillie invites some homeless people in to get them out of the heat. While the Crosses provide drinks, food and respite from the heat, the also learn that homeless people are disappearing.
You won’t see me on any national talk shows because my story is fictional, not a presentation on the plight of the homeless.
So again, how do you create a buzz? You can try to obtain some earthshaking reviews, but that doesn’t happen often. They help, but not enough. You can blog about it, go on talk radio shows, or yell from the rooftops. Do presentations at libraries or book stores. Talk to people in line at the grocery store. My bank and doctor’s office know me well because I’m always talking about books and/or passing out promotional pens.
In the meantime, here are my thoughts on creating a buzz. I’ve always said word-of-mouth is the best advertising, and I believe it’s the best way to create a buzz. So, readers, are you listening? If you’ve read a book you really enjoyed recently, tell everyone you know about it. Buy it as a gift for your best friend. Check out the author’s website to see if they’re offering anything else you might be interested in. Join book clubs and comment about how much a particular book entertained you. Suggest books to the club for reading. Instead of gossiping over the back fence with your neighbor, tell her/him about a book you recently read. Oh, I guess people don’t talk over the back fence much anymore but, again, there’s always the grocery store or the beauty shop or the bank. Shoot! I’ll talk about books everywhere. (You can always text a friend.)
Without mentioning titles, I recently read a Lesley A. Diehl book and really enjoyed it. Someone recommended Angie Fox. I tried her Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries and now I’m hooked. I’ve also read Dorothy Bodoin, F.M. Meredith and Wendell Thomas recently. I very seldom read westerns, but I tried one of Andrew McBride’s books and wasn’t disappointed. These are authors whose books were on my To Be Read list and I finally got to them. I’m currently reading an Amy Reade book and enjoying it. There are so many other authors I’d like to mention, but for now I’ll keep it to recent reads.
Okay, I just started some buzz about seven authors. In previous posts I’ve mentioned authors whose work I’ve enjoyed, and I’ll continue to do so in the future.
By the way, readers can attend many of the writers’ conferences, and many do. They’re a great place for networking and meeting writers and other readers. And they’re another place to create some buzz.
The bottom line is I don’t have any surefire way to create buzz, but hopefully this post will start a few people talking and spreading Word-of-Mouth Disease. I hope no one finds a cure for it.
Spread some of your own buzz. Share the author’s name and the title of a book you’ve read recently and really enjoyed. Who’s got you buzzing?
Until next time, have a great week and start a little buzzing.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
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Someone recently asked me which of the books I’ve written were my favorites. It was a toss up. Both are Sandi Webster mysteries. My answer? Old Murders Never Die and
One Adventure Too Many. One takes you to an abandoned ghost town and one will take you on a trip with eccentric relatives and you'll find a body in the forest. Just thought I’d mention it.