Friday, December 22, 2006

Book Promotion -- a 2006 Retrospective

Scandals. That's what book promotion was all about in 2006: scandals in the publishing industry. Check out the Newsweek article, "The Book Scandals: Can't We All Get a Life?, " by clicking here

Most of the publishing industry scandals cited in the article were free book promotion opportunities for the publishers and the authors. How many people had heard of Running with Scissors until everyone started buzzing about whether the autobiography were true or the bizarre (yet entertaining) imaginings of an advertising executive's mind?

But the scandals didn't result in book sales across the board. For example, the cancellation of O. J. Simpson's book didn't result in book sales because, of course, there wasn't any book to sell. It did result in the most media attention I've seen for any book in quite some time, but the book promotion didn't help anyone. Similarly, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life received way more than its fair share of book promotion opportunities, but where is the book now? Not in stores, unfortunately for its author and publisher.

The bottom line, I think, is that 2006 has taught us that scandal may be one way to garner book promotion opportunities. But book promotion opportunities are no guarantee of book sales. And, more importantly, those who participate -- willingly or unwillingly -- in book scandals rarely come away with their reputations and dignity intact.

Which would you rather have: a slot on a national TV show, or your soul? For me, that's a no-brainer. (Besides, there are other ways to get booked on a nation

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