In my last post, I wrote about author Jennie Nash and what she’s doing to promote her new novel, The Only True Genius in the Family (Berkley, 2009). You don’t have to be publicizing a new book, however, to learn something from her approach. The most important thing to notice is probably her cleverness, her willingness to apply some very basic publicity with twenty-first century technology. I guess I especially like her commitment to actual books. As an author myself, I worry that people are not reading enough. I also fret about how easy it is for people to buy off-price books though I’m also in that category, especially with the price of hardcovers. Still, I do my best to support my local independent bookstore, but that’s another story.
In Jennie’s initial promotional email for her new novel, The Only True Genius in the Family, she included as an attachment four “fabulous” offers. The “Book Club in a Box” Give-Away is really brilliant. Here’s her description:
“FABULOUS OFFER #2: “BOOK CLUB IN A BOX” GIVE-AWAY. Enter to win a “Book Club in a Box,” which includes five signed copies of The Only True Genius in the Family, a personalized letter from me, and a special treat (hint about the treat: one of my characters, named Claire, is a food photographer who has a little bit of a breakdown when she has to shoot some delicious chocolate for Oprah magazine….) To enter, all you have to do is reply to this email by January 31st and agree to email the attached New Year’s Greeting to (at least) 10 of your nearest and dearest book-loving
friends. I will print out all the entrant names, put them in a hat and on February 3, which is the official publication day for The Only True Genius in the Family, I will have my sweet husband pick out two winners, whose names I will post on my website. You will have no way of verifying the veracity of our selection process, but I’ll have no way of verifying that you sent out the emails, so we’re just going to have to trust each other on this. Reply with: I’d like to enter the “Book Club in a Box” contest!”
What’s particularly compelling about this offer is Jennie’s willingness to get close to her readers. This is becoming more and more prevalent as publishers are tending to hold back on the more traditional routes of promotion such as book tours and print advertising.
Perhaps your organization or your client could benefit from a similar kind of give-away. What would make sense? How could you achieve this without spending more money than you have? Let me know what you think.