Blogger: Michelle Ule
Location: Home, Santa Rosa, Calif.
We got off the Underground at Oxford Circus, and I hurried down the platform. I thought I had spied a poster advertising a book a friend wrote, and I wanted to commemorate it with a photo to send her.
Alas, the ad was for Michael Palin’s autobiography, not Sarah Palin’s, and so Lynn Vincent won’t know I was thinking of her in London last weekend.
Throughout the Underground, we saw advertisements for books. One called the advertised book, “the next Stieg Larsson.” Stieg Larsson’s Girl Who Played With Fire’s cover shone out from numerous spots. Beach reads, summer reads, thrillers and even the classics got face time in the Underground.
Riding the rails, I saw several ads for the new Nintendo DS, which boasted 100 books to be read on your Playstation. It included classics like Steinbeck, Dickens and Austen. What a splendid concept–eject Mario and read something instead!
I found myself wondering, though, why I don’t see many ads for books here in the US? With the contraction in magazine and newspaper sales, I rarely see book reviews anymore. I was shocked this year when Christianity Today published its list of the best books of the year. I’d only heard of two of them.
Word of mouth always has played an important role in publicizing books. These days blogs, blog tours, and Amazon.com reviews may be the most likely way you’ll hear about new books. But are they effective? And do they reach the casual buyer?
Where do you learn about the books you want to read? Would a poster make a difference? And as writers, what can we do to make books more visible to the book-buying public? What draws your attention–the name (like Palin) or the cover (like Larsson)?