Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book Pimping

Aaaaaaand we're back! Another trademark long absence. However, this one has been due to a potential career change (sadly, not writing related), that I'm keeping close to the chest for now. Suffice to say it has drained the writing resources (read: time), but I've considered it acceptable losses. For now.

But enough about that. Hopefully more soon.

My real post is about book pimping. I know, *groan* everyone talks about that at some time. Well, for one, there's no guarantee of originality in the header is there? Exactly. I'll save the original brain cells (there's a few I've stashed near the back, just past the visual cortex for just such an occasion).

Why do I want to talk about book pimping? Because just recently I've done it, and it really hit home that what many author/bloggers go on about is that word of mouth is one of the best ways to sell books. I'm not going to say I have any credibility as a marketer. Nor am I a bookseller, but today it struck me just how powerful it can be. Example:

The junior project engineer was looking for a new book to read. He figured I had a few titles I could suggest, as we both seem to enjoy fantasy and SF. Fine. He said he just finished one of David Weber's books, and I said 'here, try this series (the Honor Harrington, starting with On Basilisk Station - there, you've been pimped!).' That was Friday. I get an email this morning saying he finished the book and is starting book 2, and it was awesome. I agree, but I'm digressing. This was the first time I've pimped a book cold, on someone who wasn't in my 'inner circle' of friends, and had the same reaction as they had.

As an aside, I think I've been a key player in Mr. Weber's royalties from the greater Toronto area, but again, I digress.

So far I've given/pimped those titles to at least a dozen people, from family to (now) co-workers. Of course, it does rely on the author writing a good book, and me liking it, etc. etc. However, I suspect that word of mouth - and booksellers can be the best of them - can sell more books than a print ad.

Then again, what do I know?