I’ve had lousy events that were 75 people and I’ve had great events with three people. It is all about the person who comes to see you–and that can be in physical space at an event or in digital space in terms of something you are doing in media. You first and foremost have to answer the question: ‘Why is this person listening to me?’ The answer is not ‘Because I wrote the book.’ ‘Because I wrote a book that was interesting to them in a number of ways’ might be the answer. But for everything you do to promote a book, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the person listening and make sure you are answering the question: ‘Why are they listening right now?’
Instead of a book party or traditional author reading, novelist EJ Koh celebrated the release of Red with a huge Red War game in Central Park earlier this month.
Read more at the Red War page. Above, we’ve embedded a photograph of some participants, taken by Jon Chang. A variation of the Assassin game, the event reenacted the struggle between Spirit and Wake forces in the book. An organizer known as “Red General” described the scene in New York City:
Red War got 700 registrations over a span of 3 weeks and attracted over 200 attendees on the day of the event. The games ran from 11-3pm. Red War was inspired by Red and its characters, so the teams were split between Spirits VS. Wakes consisting of each side trying to obtain as much energy (numbered pieces of duct tape) off the opponents’ backs. Upon the conclusion of the game, the winners were announced (Wakes won and evil prevailed). An informal Q&A with EJ was conducted on the spot and everyone went to grab Chipotle together afterwards. Granted that this is not your typical book reading/author meet and greet, but we all enjoyed it immensely. It was cool to watch EJ take time to connect with her readers by placing herself in her own game, running around in the world she created with those who showed interest in being a part of it.
He asked the network of loyal readers: “What are some of the smartest things you’ve seen people do to promote a book? … I’d like to make the most out of all this time I have to do some awesome stuff for the fine folks who’d pre-order/buy a copy.”
We’ve collected ten reader responses below to help you plan your own book promotion.
Westeros is coming to you! “Game of Thrones: The Exhibition” opens today in New York City. The video embedded above offers a sneak peek of this special exhibit.
New Yorkers have until April 3rd to drop by and check out this traveling exhibit. After this, it will go on to make stops in Sao Paolo, Amsterdam and Belfast. The Gothamist reported that visitors will encounter “Daenerys Targaryen‘s dragon eggs, the Stark family’s Winterfell costumes, and assorted weapons.”
Here’s more about the exhibit: “Presented by HBO and international partners, the exhibition is free to the public and focuses on key characters from five of the noble houses: Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon and Greyjoy. It will showcase a trove of more than 70 original artifacts from Seasons 1 and 2, plus select pieces from this year’s new season.”
Red Hen Press brought 250 custom-made chocolate bars to the AWP conference this year, promoting books on their list with a tasty treat. They didn’t bring any leftovers home (photo of Rodney Wittwer‘s Gone & Gone chocolate bar embedded above).
As authors and publishers struggle to attract attention in bookstores, conferences and events, the strategy might be useful. We caught up with marketing associate William Goldstein to find out more. He explained:
Red Hen has been making chocolate bars for AWP for 10 years now. The idea behind it is that chocolate makes people stop and look. People pick up a bar, marvel that it looks just like the book, and then pick up the book. Authors especially seem to appreciate it, often seemingly more than their actual books!
we’re teaming up with Lazy Fascist Press to release a special digital edition of Rontel … Rontel‘s narrator is an unnamed man for whom life is a “pile of things” that refuses to work together; a man whose underlying problem is that adulthood arrived without ceremony or certification. The novel is unsettling (often hysterically so), and it would be easy to call it “gritty” or “raw,” but really it’s just honest. In Rontel, we begin to recognize ourselves in a man who cannot relate to others, we realize that we all deserve to be exiled for the thoughts we’ve thought, the things we’ve nearly done.
Check it out: “Swimming in the chilly San Francisco Bay may not be the way most people would choose to arrive at their first book signing, especially in the dead of winter, and especially at night … Departing around 4:15 PM, Yogis and famous ultra swimmer Jamie Patrick — one of the elite athletes Yogis profiles in his book — will swim the 2.4-mile length of the Bay Bridge between Yerba Buena Island and the Embarcadero. There, the two will climb ashore for Yogis’ first talk and signing at Book Passage in the San Francisco Ferry Building. The event begins at 6:30 PM.”
A towering movie painting for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey now fills a New York City street corner (image embedded above).
One Reddit user posted the massive street painting at this link, generating hundreds of comments. A user named hipporeaper added the geographic coordinates and a map link: “it’s the SE corner of 24th and Park. View from Gmaps”
Tor.com has a post about how these magnificent paintings get created: “315 Park Avenue South is exactly halfway between my apartment and the Tor offices. For nearly two decades I’ve watched an anonymous group of painters create 150 foot movie poster murals on the side of the building. I’ve always wondered how they construct the image and what it might look like from up close while it’s being put together. It’s one of the only places where advertising is still painted — it’s an original work and it changes up about once every six weeks.”