|Janet & Bug|
J.L. Greger, as a biologist and professor emerita of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, enjoys putting tidbits of science into her mystery/suspense novels. So far that’s Coming Flu and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. A third in the series is on the way.
Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Was he right? All publishers seem to agree publicity (now politely called a platform) is necessary for sales.
Is publicity really just a form of advertising?
That question demonstrates I’m no expert on communications and perhaps a bit cynical. Here’s what the experts say:
- Advertising is something you get by paying for it. Publicity however, is something you hope you'll get. (www.bmcommunications.com/ad_pub.htm).
- Advertising and publicity are two very different communication tools, even though both employ the mass media as a vehicle for reaching large audiences… Advertising buys its way into the media… Publicity is presented by the media because it's "newsworthy." (www.nku.edu/~turney/prclass/readings/ads.html)
Even so I think book authors can improve the publicity for their books by studying what advertisers have learned
What works in advertising/publicity?
Probably thousands, of blogs, articles, and books have been written on the topic. These two ideas may be useful to authors.
Extend engagement. Consumers are more apt to buy a product if they spend more time looking at an ad or better still interacting with the advertiser (http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/21628.asp).
Accordingly, I am starting a contest: Be a character in my next novel. To enter, post a comment to this blog or any of my guest blogs or my blog (http://jlgregerblog.blogspot.com) during the next six months. I’ll draw the winner out of a hat and name a character after them in an upcoming book in my medical mystery series.
Create a positive image. Advertising often sells products not by providing factual information but by surrounding the product with other things shoppers liked, thus creating positive attitudes about the product (Journal of Consumer Research [Dec 4, 2010] Vol. 37).
It’s not easy for an author of medical thrillers (like Coming Flu) to generate a warm, cozy feeling about the book. Maybe I did a better job when I titled my second novel Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. The heroine Linda Almquist loses ten pounds in fifteen days as she investigates a “diet doctor” for two murders. Almost everyone thinks losing weight is a positive thing.
You’ll probably have better ideas, but maybe this blog will get you thinking positively about getting readers engaged in your novels and blogs.
Oscar Wilde was right. Maybe that’s why so many authors are writing blogs. The next questions are:
- Do these blogs generate sales?
- When they give you a positive feeling, do you read more?
|Murder: a New Way to Lose Weight|
Janet's website: www.jlgreger.com
Her blog: http://jlgregerblog.blogspot.com