Yesterday I shared my experience at an event for Stefan Fatsis’ new book. Rohit Bhargava, another author, and fellow PR blogger, also has a recently published book, *Personality Not Included. He sponsored an event Tuesday night and asked his readers for ideas on how to drive book sales at the event and in general generate buzz in what is a tough situation.
He ended up creating a nametag2.0, which is a pretty clever idea. Rohit has done several really innovative tactics for his book promotion, as did Rob Walker for his recent book, Buying In. Attention is a precious commodity today and with dozens of books coming out seemingly every week in the marketing/culture/consumer trends category alone, authors have to work very hard, and very smart, to get any traction.
But the law of diminishing returns are going to set in soon. The novelty of blog book tours and other web 2.0 tactics that seem so fresh right now won’t next time around. I’d like to see an author bring readers into the process earlier, not just after the book is printed and ready to ship. Can a social network be created around a proposed book? How could the ‘wisdom of crowds’ help direct the creation of a book, and how could readers have a sense of ownership? Is that possible, or even desirable? Perhaps a blog about the creation of the book – a sort of ‘behind the scenes at the sausage factory – from writing to working with the publishers to the book tours.
I think we soon going to be talking about the promotion of books as much as the books themselves very soon.