Helping your niche find you

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 at 3:46 PM

We’re always excited to hear about creative new ways authors and publishers are connecting with readers. NPR ran a story yesterday about how publishers like HarperCollins and Mira Books are creating live-action book trailers, showing these previews online and in movie theaters -- especially theaters located near bookstores. And a recent Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) describes how some fiction publishers are borrowing strategies from non-fiction marketing to reach niche audiences.

For instance, Ballantine Books distributed gift bags containing copies of James Swain thrillers -- which are set in casinos -- to hundreds of people at the World Gaming Protection Conference. Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts series, appeared on a cable TV quilting show to talk about patterns and her latest release. But she didn't stop with television -- she also created a website where she blogs about quilting, shares information about her books, publishes a schedule of her appearances and more.

Chiaverini isn't alone. So many people are talking about books online, there are sites like the LitBlog Co-Op, which aims to unite leading literary weblogs "for the purpose of drawing attention to the best of contemporary fiction, authors and presses that are struggling to be noticed in a flooded marketplace." MySpace, the popular social networking site, isn't only for teenagers or musicians. Reuters and PW Daily have profiled four memoirists who created The Memoirists Collective page, where the authors hold contests offering readers the chance to get their own memoirs published. As of today, the group has more than 1,000 friends. Now MySpace has a special section dedicated to books, authors and reading groups.

For some -- like author Cory Doctorow, who co-edits the BoingBoing blog, makes his books freely available online with Creative Commons licenses and podcasts installments of his stories -- connecting with readers online may already be second nature. But for others, it's something they're just beginning to tackle. Of course, we at Google hope that everyone who wants to help readers find their books online has a marketing plan that includes making the books discoverable through Google Book Search.


No comments: