Friday, July 16, 2010

The magic of word of mouth

Tip of the day: Iced tea mixed with a little lemonade is a delicious summertime drink!

I read a book recently, SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR by Matthew Quick, that I loved so much, I have been telling everyone I know about it. I even sold a copy to someone at one of my own book signings.

Yesterday I did a one-hour presentation at a children's writers conference, and read from some favorite books to illustrate some examples of voice, character, etc. And when I came to SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR, I couldn't help it. I started gushing about it again. I was like - I just LOVE the vietnam vet who writes haikus. I mean, I LOVE him. And it's not even like he does that much, but him and Amber form such a special relationship... blah, blah, blah. I couldn't stop talking about it!!

But you know what? When I finally did manage to shut up, someone raised their hand and said, "What's the author's name again?" And everyone, I mean, EVERYONE, frantically wrote it down when I shared it again.

I am convinced there is no better kind of promotion than word of mouth.

So what is it that makes people love a book so much they want to tell everyone they know about it?

I think it's a perfect combination of a unique but also familiar story with well-drawn and interesting, admirable characters along with memorable scenes that make us laugh or cry or preferably both.

Think of the book you love so much you tell everyone about it.

Or think of the classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, that so many people will say is their all-time favorite book. A unique but somewhat familiar story? Check. Interesting and admirable characters? Atticus is probably one of the most interesting and admirable characters ever written. Not to mention Scout and Jem. Scenes that make us laugh and cry? Check and check.

It has it all.

With each book we write, we should strive for those elements that will make people want to pass the book around and share it with their friends and loved ones. We might not always succeed, but by keeping those elements in mind, and trying to do the impossible, you never know - we might just succeed some day.

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


Kate Fall said...

I think almost every book I read lately, I've "heard" about from internet word of mouth from people like you. Goodreads is another great source.

DeenaML said...

You have certainly made me want to pick up this book!