Friday, November 04, 2005

The Diary Junction and other marketing ploys

Only yesterday I remarked that perhaps the best way to publicise a book via a blog or web site is to provide some material of value or interest to a particular group, and then to plug your book in passing, so to speak.

This is a technique being used to good effect by Paul K. Lyons. Paul has developed an impressive web site called The Diary Junction. It's pretty self-explanatory. It provides a vast amount of information about historical and literary diaries and diarists.

Picking a name more or less at random from a list of 450 diarists (so far), I chose Dora Carrington. There isn't a vast amount of info provided, and it is not cheerful, because it seems that the lady's diary records how she decided to kill herself. Nevertheless, the Diary Junction would be a useful starting point for a researcher.

As for Paul Lyons's other work, he does give us links to his novel Kip Fenn -- Reflections, and to some of his other fiction and non-fiction projects. See what I mean? All you have to do to get readers for your blog/book is be able and willing to put in hundreds of hours of work on (a) your book, and (b) a web site which provides useful information. Quite simple really. Then you get to be rich and famous. Maybe.

Meanwhile Bill Liversidge points out that his View from the Pundy House, which I mentioned on Tuesday, contains a piece called Bird Flew Virus, in which he outlines his viral marketing campaign. This lists a number of bloggers, and one of them, Gaping Void, offers a link to an article by Kathy Sierra. This discusses the old way of doing marketing compared with the new way.

Several of these new ways seem to me to concentrate on an aspect which is easily overlooked by independent publishers -- as I shall now call them -- and it's this. It's the product, stupid. Product, product, product.

It is possible for an entirely unknown pop group to record something which they make available on the net, and when people hear it they say -- within five seconds -- WOW! What is THAT?!! I've got to hear that again!

So the secret of becoming a big-time writer and making lots of dosh as an independent is to write something that has the same effect. And that's hard. As we have all discovered.


pundy said...

You're absolutely right of course and I address exactly this issue in my post "Spreading The Word".

There is no future in passing off a lousy product with fancy packaging. Fortunately, the market will soon find you out.

Anonymous said...

Insightful stuff, Michael, but the little scheme I dreamt up nearly a year ago (and which you've now tumbled) isn't going to work (not that I ever really thought it would). Whereas once I put lots of effort into marketing my book projects, now I have to exercise myself in marketing The Diary Junction. And all that effort gets me is a few visitors a day, very few of whom allow themselves to be diverted elsewhere. Just as well, I've really enjoyed the diary research. Nice blog, though, thanks.

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