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Jumpstart Sales With Your Own Book Club

Authors’ alert: Try your version of Seth Godin’s newest crowd attractor that rocketed his book to the top ten bestsellers at Amazon.  And the book isn’t even out yet.

Here’s what happened. About two months ago, he offered his fans the chance to be on the cover of his next book, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.  Those who were quick to act might (might!) be among the crowd of faces on the book.

Note:  “Quick” evokes “scarcity,” which spurs us to act, according to Influence author, Robert Cialdini.

To further stoke his visibility and his advance sales of the book, yesterday Godin invited community-builders and marketers to  meet each other over at his “private,”  subscriber-based social network site, aka an online book club.  Of course, even these ostensibly key influencers had to provide electronic proof that they’d pre-ordered a copy of the book at Amazon.  That membership requirement certainly cements a SmartPartnership between the author and Amazon.  Also, Seth’s social network site, aka book club was launched off the free provider, Ning.

Some are offended by Seth’s approach.

Yet, as Ron Hogan at Mediabistro suggests, it is a super quick way for an author to start and grow a book club and boost sales.  Even less famous authors (such as the rest of us) can adapt this approach to entice our kind of readers to buy early, tell others and get to know each other online – thus building an active fan community to buy our future books.

(If politicans and pet stores can start book clubs, why not authors?) Finally, to cover your bases, create a book club page at Mahalo and  Squidoo – and a write up at the still ungainly “steamroller” of an author-credited, wiki service, Knol.

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  1. Posted July 31, 2008 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the summary and the insight.

    It’s not about boosting sales (I think the people who signed up would have bought a copy anyway). And it’s not a book club, not in the sense that a book club is a discussion about the words in a book.

    Instead, I’m trying to use new tools to create a different kind of interaction, one that becomes something bigger or different than the actual book. I guess it would be like Bob Vila starting a club to build a house.

  2. Posted August 1, 2008 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I see those goals in what you are doing (so well) and think that, in these social media times, some book clubs are changing in format and goals to go beyond discussing a book to co-creating new ideas and deepening relationships that spring out of the original book discussions. apologies for not putting that more clearly. Yes, your approach supports and encourages a deeper reader interaction that is more likely to lead to a more active and involved community.

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