Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Field Trip #12: Word of Mouth Buzz

Morgan says: One of my favorite things about my local bookstore is the "staff picks" shelf.  In this area of the store, each employee has written a little shelf-hanger card that describes why they selected their choice book for this shelf.

Your assignment for this week is to talk with the staff of your favorite bookstore.  Specifically, I want you to find one of the people who added a book to the "employee recommended" shelf.  If the store you frequent doesn't have a specific area for staff selections, then ask one of the workers if they have a book recommendation.  (Most bookstores have staff members who are avid readers.  I am sure they will have a favorite book (or books) that you just HAVE to read.)

As you engage the bookstore employee, I want you to ask them one simple questionWhy do you like this book?

  • Is it the setting?
  • The characters?
  • The suspense?
  • The romance?
  • The author's voice?
If you want to take your questioning one step further, ask themWhat made you pick up this book the first time you read it?
  • Did a friend recommend the book to them?
  • Did they read a review?
  • Maybe they overhead a conversation about it?
  • Did the cover art work or copy peak their interest?
  • Maybe they heard good things about the author?
I'm sure you'll be surprised by a few (or all) of their answers.  Take a moment to think about how many people this one person has told about their favorite book(s).

How can you use this information to help your career?
Are there any marketing efforts for your books that would attract this reader?

If they are a member of your target audience, you may even consider giving them a copy of your book as a thank you for their time.

Let us know what you learn!

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

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