Monday, July 03, 2006

Promoting your book online

In The Times, Anthony Thornton reveals the simple secrets behind the succesful online promotion of his book about The Libertines.
[My] website was based on the design of the book and looked pretty slick. But the slickest website in the world can do nothing if nobody knows anything about it. Like Arctic Monkeys and many bands since, we decided to move into MySpace, an online community site (owned by News Corporation, the parent company of The Times) for people to meet and make friends.

I imagined that interest would be minimal — after all, the book wasn’t due out for two months and no one knew it was coming. In the course of the first week a handful of people “made friends” with the book: close mates, hardcore Libertines fans and those who stumbled on it by mistake (some looking for De Sade sites). I sent a message to each one thanking them: it was a simple cour tesy. Suddenly, it mushroomed: first there were five people a day, then 10, then 15 then 25 people wanting to be “friends” with the book. Some asked questions: each received a reply. All my spare hours were spent talking to people who seemed almost as excited about the publication as I was.

Two weeks before publication, the book hit Amazon’s Top Ten bestselling pre-orders.

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