When Business Depends on the Kindness of Strangers
Everything was done correctly; the Norton list of reviewers was current.
Even though Mairs was well connected in the industry, not a single mainstream reviewer touched it—not Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, The New York Times—nobody. When Mairs or I called for an update, the response was the same—“There are too many damn books. Sorry.”
A few nautical journals here and in the United Kingdom gave us glowing reviews, but overall, this wonderful little book was a big, fat bomb.
Quite simply, books that are not reviewed do not sell. And with 200,000 new titles a year being published (roughly 550 a day), reviewers—strangers or friends—won’t even see it in pile of incoming Jiffy bags, let alone review it.
If you are a publisher and want to sell books, flea markets are probably your best bet.
Steer Very Clear of Guerilla Marketing Unless You Have Cash to Burn
My electronic files are bulging with stories about how to get free—or low cost—exposure that promises a pot of gold at the end of the campaign—all because people will get excited and tell other people. Among them:
* Ambush Marketing. An example was Mars Candy Corporation’s ploy to advertise during the Olympics, where only sponsors of the games are permitted exposure. “On one occasion, Mars dressed staff up in their M&M character suits,” wrote Michael Payne, former Director of Marketing and Broadcast Rights for the IOC. “It then lined them up along the Olympic marathon route, with instructions to jump out onto the course as the runners went by, and wave madly at the TV cameras.”
* Buzz or Word-of-Mouth Marketing
* Product Placements
* Viral Marketing
* Charmin’s Potty Palace—As a holiday promotion, 20 public stalls were set up in Times Square, themed with Charmin toilet tissue. Over 5,000 people showed up within the first 24 hours.
- United States