Catching the reader’s attention…

Having no Internet put me a bit behind and I am still trying to catch up on things…so instead of reviews today, we have some randomness…and a bit of rambling…just warning ya!


After posting yesterday’s widget, I got to wondering if any of the other books up for February’s Book-of-the-Month had anything fun associated with them…so I went on a search and here is what I found.


– For Tangled Up In Love by Heidi Betts, I found this widget on the St. Martins (the publisher) website:
Vodpod videos no longer available.


eagle-seal-300x300-Author Lisa Hendrix has a map of major locations in the book and other fun things for Immortal Warrior and the series including this cool seal for readers of the series to post on their sites.  Her site also mentions more interesting things to come including desktop wallpaper.


-Author AE Rought has a movie trailer and downloadable wallpapers for Slade and Kally.


-While she didn’t have a trailer for Circle of Friends: Only Tyler, author Jess Dee has an interesting slideshow for The Bad Boys Down Under anthology on her website.


-And while I couldn’t find anything for One on One, author Cathryn Fox had a cool video and teaser for her recent release, Sun Stroked.


-And in addition to what I posted yesterday author Kresley Cole has a forum, glossary, character pages, and more for fans of the “Immortals After Dark” Series.


So all my searching got me to thinking about other widgets, book videos, website extras, and the many ways that authors try to promote their books by “spreading the word” or by catching (and keeping) the attention of readers.  I blogged about an interesting promo technique on Thursday and I have seen some creative ones over the years from unique contests to character blogs or quizzes to mini-movies to viral promo (see yesterday’s post as an example…you get people to post the info about the book/contest which leads to other people posting it and so on…the whole “and she tells ten people…and they tell ten people, etc.” thing).   Even something as simple as an author newsletter, online chat, or guest spot on a website are used to promote books.


And promo is not limited to just the Internet.  There are plenty of interesting ways authors can promote their work without using the Internet from having actors appear as the characters at book signings or events (I have actually seen this) to mailing readers fun promo items.


Authors and publishers are always trying to keep us (the readers) interested in their work, which can sometimes be difficult to do as more books are published with similar themes, ideas, etc. With many, many new releases each month (and with the economy like it is), authors must do their best to try to stand out and get us to buy their book(s) which sometimes involves getting creative.


And since each of us has our own reasons for our purchases, which may or may not have anything to do with what an author does to promote their book, it can be difficult for an author to know what to do when it comes to promo.  I guess that may be why there are such a variety of promo techniques out there.  Different things influence us because we are different people.  Our uniqueness and individuality are what make us so great and what works for one reader might put off another…just like with books…what one reader loves, another may hate. 


I am sure you all have seen some of these things I mentioned (I know I have posted a few of the online things here in the past).  While I am not an author, I am just a reader like many of you, I can’t help but wonder how well these things actually work…are they worth the time and (sometimes) monetary investment?  Do widgets make you purchase a book?  Are you more likely to buy a book because of a video you saw on someone’s website?  Does a promo item, such as a bookmark, pen, or something creative, make you go out and buy an author’s book?


I guess it is like a commercial on television…they may not directly cause someone to buy a product, but they catch the buyer’s attention by providing information which may or may not lead to a sale.  (Um…I have to be honest and say I fast forward or change the channel during commercials…bad me!).


As for me personally, when I first started writing this I was thinking, “No way do these things influence me when I am buying books” but you know the more that I think about it the more I realize that in some small way they kind of do sometimes.  I can’t say that book promo techniques necessarily make or break a sale for me, but they can catch my attention, make me remember a book, or even lead to the discovery of a new-to-me book and/or author.  This is especially true for books or authors I am not familiar with as promotional items and promo techniques provide me with a bit more info to think about before purchasing a book. 


Therefore if their only goal is to provide information, then I would say these promo techniques are pretty successful whether they lead to one sale or a thousand.  But I know that authors hope that these things lead to many sales and I am sure they do for some.  


I also can’t help but wonder if authors will get more creative or if we will see an increase in book promotions as the economy worsens and publishers and authors fight for our dollars (LOL…okay, the image I just got from that sentence made me laugh out loud…literally…as I pictured authors wrestling and hitting each other as they fought over our money…but I digress…).


So what was the point of this post you might ask…um…….well……I can’t remember………Oh, yeah, besides giving you all a little more info on the books in the poll, I wanted to share my thoughts on (AKA ramble about) promo techniques and find out what you all think about the effectiveness of these techniques.  As someone who is not above helping to “pimp” authors and books (um, I have a blog devoted to this, people), I admit that I am curious…


Readers, do the various techniques I mentioned above (videos, widgets, etc.) work for you?  Do they influence your purchases even in a small way that you may not have thought of?  Do you have a favorite technique?  What are some creative ones that you have seen? 


And authors, do you have a favorite technique to use?  Have you noticed any working better than others?  Can you really tell if something works or not?  It seems to me the effectiveness of a particular technique would be hard to judge for an author.


Anyway, thanks for your patience as I rambled and have a great weekend!


3 Responses to Catching the reader’s attention…

  1. Heidi Betts says:

    Hey, Jennifer! Now, see if you’d asked, I could have told you about this. *vbg* Your internet troubles (which I actually had this morning, too!) are keeping you away from The Dungeon for too long, cuz I posted it there a while ago, too. Isn’t it awesom?. I wanna give St. Martin’s a big, sloppy kiss right on the mouth for that one. 😀

  2. Helen says:

    I do enjoy seeing all the different ways that authors advertise their books but more often than not it is getting recommendations from blogs that get me to try new authors one of the reasons I love visiting them I have read some fantastic books thru them thanks guys

    Have Fun

  3. Lisa Hendrix says:

    Hi, Jennifer — I’ve added a couple more seals and things to the Extras page on my site. Hope everyone will pop over and see if there’s anything that rocks their boat. And roll down to the Links session to grab a link to video of a terrific interactive Runestone in Denmark.

    I also stuck a fun video up on my Facebook Page, the song from Disney’s Robin Hood, done in Norwegian (for my guys).

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