1. Most Excellent Marketing Idea
I recently spent a couple of weeks in London, and while there saw the Smartest Marketing Idea of 2015.
You know how ads normally include a URL for the advertising company? That’s great…except it assumes that the audience will remember the URL, get to a computer, and type it in correctly. Instead of all that, wouldn’t it make sense to conform advertising to the pay people more commonly use the interwebs? Sure, it would. And ads in the UK are doing exactly that. At the end of TV ads—and in print and outdoor ads—in place of the URL, it has “Search” with an easy-to-remember phrase.
So instead of having to remember the name of the product NatWest (a bank) is advertising, I only need to recall the topic of the ad (that they have an account that gives cash back on household bills) and know how to get to Google.
Companies are using this in magazine ads, and also on the ads on buses, billboards, and tubes and stations.
For authors, this is a bit trickier, unless you’re marketing books by Steig Larsson, Raymond Chandler, or Agatha Christie, each of whom show up on the first page of results when googling “crime book.” But the principle still applies. For example, if a reader is looking for Reed Farrel Coleman’s latest book, all she needs to do is Search Reed Coleman, and the very first result is Reed’s website. No need to recall that the book is called THE DEVIL WINS…or maybe she’s looking for WHERE IT HURTS, which comes out in January. Either way, the search will take care of it.
Authors—Pattersons and Grishams excluded—don’t do TV ads or panels in the subway, though. So where would you put this spiffy Search line? Think header images. Book jackets. Bookmarks. Hell, t-shirts. Just about anywhere readers could do with a clear call-to-action.
2. The Book Depository
I recently learned that not everybody knows about The Book Depository, and so I’m making it my mission to spread the word.
The Book Depository is an online bookstore based in the UK. They’re owned by Amazon, but I’ve been using them since before they were, and the acquisition doesn’t seem to have changed their business at all.
So, why should you care?
Because they’re in the UK, they sell books that are released there before they’re available in the US oftentimes months before we can get them at a local shop. Want to read Ian Rankin’s new Rebus novel, EVEN DOGS IN THE WILD, but don’t want to wait until the January 19 US release? Order it from the Book Depository and you’ll have it in about a week.
And the best part? Shipping—anywhere in the world—is free. And their prices are quite reasonable.
So if you are a fan of UK authors (in addition to Ian Rankin, think Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Elisabeth Haynes, and Martina Cole) whose books are released here later or not at all (as in the case of Cole) or you like to have UK edition of books, you need to check out The Book Depository. If you want to tell ‘em I sent you, click here; it’s an affiliate link.
3. On a Personal Note
As Jeff was so kind to mention a few weeks back, I’ve had an interesting couple of months. In a nutshell, my heart isn’t working right. I’m taking some good drugs, but chances are good I’ll need to get a new heart. While this is certainly a frustrating, infuriating turn of events, I am lucky beyond all measure or reason to be surrounded by a community beyond par.
You all are the best. The very best. Truly.
I’m overwhelmed by the incredible support I’ve received. Most recently, my Crimespree Magazine family organized an auction on my behalf. Even if I wasn’t the beneficiary, I’d recommend you check it out, because there are tons of supercool items available, and none of them available anywhere else. Click here to have a browse.
Thank you for reading.