Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paranormal Activity

Yes, it's a new movie, and yes, this blog is still about books, but I wanted to use it to illustrate the power of word of mouth. "Paranormal Activity" is a little film that's starting to get some big buzz. It was shot for almost nothing and has no big names. I guess Spielberg or someone heard about it and helped redo the ending, saying that was the only thing that needed some work. Anyway, I don't know if there wasn't enough money for a huge ad campaign or if they went this route to see what would happen, but there have been a few ads out there showing a test audience watching the film. You see a few people jump, some gasps, a scream, etc, while there are a few clips on the movie screen. Then the title comes up and says something along the lines of "demand it!" - meaning call your local movie house and tell them to get that sucker in there.

Well, whatever they're doing and however it started, it looks like it's working. Why? Because word of mouth is probably still one of the top five ways to market something. Proven fact! Especially for "small" things, like independent films, music, arts, etc, and yes, books. A good example in the book category would be "The Shack", a Christian fiction work that seemed to suddenly explode on the scene. In reality, there was a slow but steady buildup, and what we heard across the desk here at the library was that "someone" had recommended it to our patron, time and time again. Granted a lot of those people knew the "someone" from church, but still - it proves a point. Word of mouth works.

This brings me to my thought for today: If you find a book that you really like, one you just can't stop thinking about, one that you really believe in - GO TELL SOMEONE. Write a blog. Tell people in your local community, whether that's a church, a book club, a gym, whatever. Better yet, go to your local library or book store and ask if they have a "recommended" section, then ask if you can recommend this work (we have several patron-recommended titles on display here!) Just be sure to talk about the book and why you like it. In addition to telling people all about it, Google the author and see if you can let him/her know how much you liked it, too. Believe me when I tell you that author's need that feedback, especially if they're not a "big" name yet. Even I like to hear back on here that someone's read a post and liked it! LOL!

OK, you've all got your homework assignments. Now go out there and talk about books!

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