Monday, December 21, 2009

Creating a viral book promotion campaign.

Authors sometimes ask me, "Cay you create a viral book promotion campaign?" I wish I could but, by definition, a viral marketing campaign isn't something you create. It's something that happens.

Viral marketing campaigns, however unpredictable, often do share certain elements. For book promotion campaigns, some of the elements that help a campaign "go viral" are:

1. The book is good to begin with.
2. The author and his/her message is compelling, in some way.
3. There's a timeliness to the book.
4. Multimedia (a book trailer or some other type of video that can be uploaded to video-sharing sites, with YouTube chief among them) are an integral part of the campaign.

For a look at what makes a multimedia show "go viral," check out Pete Cashmore's article -- "YouTube: Why do we watch?" -- on CNNTech. Cashmore has isolated some of the reasons why we love to watch Susan Boyle's performance or even Tay Zonday's, um, singing of "Chocolate Rain." It's worth noting that Cashmore's takeaway is that it's impossible to predict when a video will go viral until we see it and decide to pass the link along to everybody we know.

And the same is true for a book promotion campaign that goes viral. Many authors would like to hire someone to create a viral book promotion campaign for them.

I wish it were possible.

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