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I was talking to a friend recently, also a writer, and we talked about – what else – books. We also talked about promoting said books and creating a buzz, something I’ve posted about in the past. Today I’m focusing on readers, not writers. Yes, most writers are also readers.
I firmly believe word-of-mouth is the best advertising. Think about it. How many times have you read a book or watched a television show because a relative or friend, or maybe a neighbor, said it was the best thing since sliced bread? They’re enthusiastic and want to share their excitement with you.
Let’s say you recently read a book that you truly enjoyed. Did you tell anyone about it? Here’s something I read, but at the moment I can’t recall where. Think about how many people you know. We’ll use the number fifty for today, including friends, relatives and acquaintances. You’ve read a book that was both entertaining and memorable. Now imagine you tell every one of those fifty people about the book. They read the book and enjoyed it as much as you did, and they tell every one of the fifty people they know about the book. That fifty reads the book and ends up telling all of their connections, and on and on and on. The word spreads like wildfire.
By the end of the week (or month or two) the author’s name could become a household word. I’ve read some really good books because of word-of-mouth. Honestly? I’d never heard of some of the authors until a friend told me about them. Rhys Bowen is one of those authors and I can’t get enough of her books now. I heard about her through word-of-mouth.
Authors can be a Big Mouth about their own books, but unfortunately sometimes that can get old quickly. We do what we can to get the word out, from personal appearances to book signings to any event we can attend. We post on the Internet in as many places as possible. We talk to total strangers and find out we may have something in common with them. We make new friends along the way. Okay, I have to admit that I’m not above asking a clerk at the store or the receptionist in an office if they enjoy reading mysteries. If they do, I usually give them a promotional item with my website address on it.
A lot of personal connections happen at conferences. Many attendees go home and tell their relatives, neighbors and friends about what fun it was to meet a real live author. There are a few people I’ve stayed in touch with, and I’ve enjoyed the interaction.
I’m no different than anyone else. When I go to writers events I come home and talk about the people I’ve met and things I saw and heard. I can remember a few times when I’d come home and my husband’s eyes would glaze over, so I’d turn to someone else and repeat the stories. I’m excited, and without meaning to, I’m creating a buzz.
I’ve met some famous authors, which is exciting, and I’ve also met some relatively unknown or new authors whom I liked, and I soon found myself trying one of their books. They were enthusiastic and friendly, and that’s what generally makes me take a look at their work. (Don’t forget, readers, that there are conferences who welcome readers as well as authors.)
Let’s not forget reviews. If you really enjoy a book, write a review. It’s just another form of word-of-mouth. In the case of a review, you’re blabbing to strangers. It still creates a buzz, although I’ve heard that some people won’t even bother to read reviews. Personally, I tend to check them out. I’ve even read a few books that got bad reviews. The storyline sounded good, even if the review didn’t. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.
As a reader, what do you think about creating a buzz? Do you have a big mouth? Can you recommend a good book? I love it when I set a book aside and sigh, thinking how much I enjoyed it and what a satisfying ending the author created.
Until next week, if you’ve read a good book, start buzzing about it. Tell a friend, and have fun connecting with other readers.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website (sorely in need of updating)
CLICK HERE for a quick trip to Amazon.com
If the idea of an elderly “hit woman,” the mob and a little humor appeals to you, you might give Black Butterfly – A Bogeyman Mystery a try.