The New York Times recently posted an intriguing article, The Author Takes a Star Turn, which discusses how various authors, e.g., Mary Karr, Jeannette Walls, and Kelly Corrigan, have used video to promote their books, something that the article concludes is now almost a necessity. If you visit the article, you can click through to trailers by a number of the authors. My favorite is "Book Launch 2.0," the winner of this year's Moby award for Best Performance by an Author. That author is Dennis Cass, author of the non-fiction book, Head Case: How I Almost Lost My Mind Trying to Understand My Brain. In the video Cass takes subtle and delightful satirical aim at the entire business of promotion. Take a look. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxschLOAr-s
It seems that everything that Cass has failed to do for his book is what an author should do for a book. Using my powers of inference, I've compiled a list:
1. Get reviews
2. Do a reading tour
3. Get book clubs to use your book
4. Do an email blast
5. Have a website
6. Have a blog
7. Keep 5 & 6 updated (Note: Cass last posted at his website on May 21 and he's deserted his blog.)
8. Join social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter
9. Make a YouTube video
10. Accept, as Cass has, that "this is the world we live in."
The trailer prompted me to put Head Case on reserve at my library. Cass's soft sell page at his website firmed up my interest in his book. Now I wonder if we all need to add a soft sell page to our websites.
Causes Diane Lockward Supports
The Frost Place
The Innocence Project