Friday, November 09, 2007

Skeptical about online book promotion?

There are many authors and publishers out there (and you may be one of them) who believe the impact of online book promotion efforts is negligible, and that the only book publicity that matters is real-world buzz (that is, getting book reviews in traditional magazines and newspapers, and scoring interviews on radio and television shows). Traditionalists, beware: you might want to reconsider the power of the Internet.

Here's a tale from Reuters (as it appears on about a young man who was looking for a needle in the haystack. The young man spied the woman of his dreams on a subway train, and then the object of his desires got off the train and walked off into the sunset. Except her would-be suitor couldn't get her out of his mind, so he set up a Web site specifically to find her. Yes, this brave and optimistic soul posted his cell phone number as well as his artistic rendering of his Fantasy Woman from the train on the site, and the leads started to pour in. Media attention came his way (of course). And, believe it or not, he found the woman. (According to the Reuters story, the Prince Charming removed his cell phone number from the Web site and now is making a bid to regain his privacy.)

No, the intrepid man isn't an author (at least, he's not an author yet). But he did want to promote his cause, and didn't turn to "Oprah" or "Good Morning America" or "All Things Considered" or "USA Today" to do it.

He turned to online promotion.

And it worked.

Food for thought, isn't it? Next time you're tempted to "stick to what's been proven to work for decades" in your own book promotion campaign, remember the man who found his mate (or, at least, he hopes so) by creating Internet buzz about his search. If an Internet promotion campaign worked for him, isn't it reasonable to try it and see what effect it might have on your book promotion campaign?