If you’ve been following my blog, you know that Amazon Encore, a publishing division of Amazon.com, will launch my novel, They Never Die Quietly, on February 16, 2010. To say I’m ecstatic is an understatement. I’ve been writing fiction for 15+ years with virtually no recognition, and now Amazon will début my novel with the power of their global marketing behind it.
If you know anything at all about marketing and promotion, you know that “buzz” is everything. With any product, book, or movie, marketing either makes or breaks it. Some pretty awful novels have made it to the NY Times Bestseller list totally based on promotion and hype. On the other hand, several magnificent books have gone unnoticed without fanfare simply because the book was never successfully promoted.
I spent most of my working career in sales and marketing, and the first thing I learned was that no matter what you’re trying to market, you have to sell the “sizzle” and not the steak. Sizzle gets you more sales than the steak itself. If you stir up enough interest and mystique, you can sell just about anything.
Knowing this, I am not only working closely with the Senior Marketing Manager from Amazon Encore to promote my novel, but I also hired a top-notch publicist to support the marketing efforts. My hope, of course, is to create so much buzz about my novel that it takes off. But there is a downside to this whole marketing business. Make no mistake about it; I want my book to be successful. In fact, it wouldn’t bother me at all if it hit #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list. Is there any author anywhere in the universe who wouldn’t want this? But here’s the caveat.
In my heart of hearts, I want my book to be successful because of its literary value; not because of some savvy marketing plan. I want people to buy my book and love it. I want my readers to impatiently wait for my next book. And my next. And my next. I want to hear comments like, “I couldn’t put it down”, and “A true page turner.” I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want my readers to love the steak and to hell with the sizzle.
I am encouraged by the reader reviews I’ve gotten on Amazon thus far, giving me hope that my novel is more steak than sizzle. In fact, the latest review was written by a member of the Amazon Vine Program, a select group of readers carefully chosen by Amazon to receive advanced copies of books and to write objective reviews. 30 members of the Amazon Vine Program are currently reading my novel and I am anxiously awaiting their comments. The first review is great. I can only hope that the other 29 are equally as positive.
If you’re interested in reading this review, here is the LINK.