No matter what kind of book you've written, its success depends on two things: It must serve a need, and you must find its audience. Most books fail simply because people never hear about them. And this is the paradox for budding authors: People aren't paying attention to traditional marketing and advertising anymore. But free advertising is alive and well.Whatever you want to call it --- buzz, word of mouth, peer-to-peer or viral marketing -- you can't just manufacture it. You must earn it -- by engaging your target audience. Fortunately, there is a very straightforward, ethical way of gaining this free exposure: by participating on social networks. These social media sites, such as Amazon, MySpace, Facebook, and other Web 2.0 networks, allow members to share information about themselves and their books. Word of mouth is the only thing that can make a book really successful. Until recently, this required “pull”—connections with powerful allies in the publishing food chain. Today, creative writers can connect with readers directly. The only requirements are a link to the Internet and the will to plug in.
ance by some publishing mogul? No, it was Joe Six-Pack, reacting to book recommendations from Amazon.com. The online store began suggesting the older book to millions of people whom it knew liked climbing books, based on their buying history. If you've shopped on Amazon, you've seen these recommendations yourself: People who bought this book also bought...
Many of the new readers liked Touching the Void so much, they wrote rave reviews on Amazon's site. These "amateur" book reviews, written by real climbers and armchair explorers, resonated deeply with the next wave of shoppers. More sales, more good reviews.
Ten years after the book's launch, Internet-powered word of mouth did something that no team of marketing wizards could do--it landed Touching the Void on the bestseller lists. The story was adapted for an acclaimed docudrama. Simpson, his writing career turbocharged, followed up with four successful adventure books, a novel, and lecture tours.
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