Another Interesting Book Publicity Stunt

In my last post, I discussed several interesting tactics authors and publishers are using to promote their books. In an ever crowded book-selling environment, authors and publishers are resorting to new and creative tactics to hook readers.

One Christian book publisher is now looking to hook readers long before a book is published. This publisher is using an interesting strategy to find new readers and hook these readers into being invested in the next book he publishes.

Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press, a publisher of Christian speculative fiction, is asking the masses (a.k.a. interested readers) to help him pick which book should be the next title Marcher Lord Press publishes.Icon 02

To do this, Gerke is asking readers to vote in a serious of rounds on which book they would like to see published. The first round will feature a book’s title, genre, length, a 20-word premise, and a 100-word back cover teaser blurb. Each additional round will feature increasingly more information, but no more than the first 60 pages of the book. The book the readers choose will be published in the Spring of 2010.

Gerke is smart. He is requiring all voters to register prior to voting. This way he is creating an email list of readers who are interested in Christian speculative fiction that he can continue to market Marcher Lord Press’ books to. The voting starts this month on The Anomaly forums and runs through January or February of 2010.

I don’t think this publicity stunt will be as effective in engaging readers as the ones listed in my last post. This activity gives the participants little reward for their efforts. The best publicity stunts have the potential of a “big” win (a free manuscript, money, and your design on a best-selling author’s book cover) for participants. The larger the potential win, the stronger the hook resulting in more people participating; consider State lotteries with their promises of millions of dollars.

I do give Jeff Gerke credit for his creativity. I think this idea is unique and I wish them the best with their promotional gimmick.


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