Thursday, May 21, 2009

Google steps into book promotion arena?

Hey! I didn't realize that yesterday's Google homepage doodle was about book promotion! I thought it was about a scientific discovery!

Yesterday, Google's homepage featured one of those intriguing doodles that I had to click on before I could start my day. What was that weird drawing, anyway?

It turned out to be a fossil or, more specifically, the "missing link" -- which, happily for Colin Tudge and Josh Young, coauthors of The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor (published by Little Brown and Company) -- was the subject of their new book. The book's publication date, by the way, was(May 20, 2009, which was the date that Google featured that promotional doodle on its homepage.

We all know that prominent search engine placement is a critical aspect of book promotion. If your book's web site is prominently featured in Google, then potential book buyers will go right to it when you've been interviewed on radio or television, or you've been featured in a magazine, newspaper, or online article. Driving traffic to your book's web site is a first step on the path toward selling potential readers on your credibility, expertise, entertainment/news value, and so on . . . so I've always said that SEO (search engine optimization, which for books' web sites involve writing articles and op-eds, social bookmarking, posting press releases in online "banks," and the like) is a key to book promotion (and book marketing, by the way) success.

But I never imagined that Google itself would overtly take a hand in an author's (or a publisher's) book promotion campaign! How cool would it be to have Google link to your book, via its daily doodle? How many thousands of people would click on that doodle to find out about your book, and perhaps to visit your book's web site?

Now if only Google would make its daily doodle available to advertisers. And if only the cost were less cost-prohibitive than, say, inventing a new species or a new planet where life forms could live . . . and if only ordinary authors and publishers could afford to give it a try.