Monday, March 21, 2011

Marketing - The Golden Goose

So what is the magic bullet when it comes to marketing?  The ever-elusive Word-Of-Mouth.

Anyone who can figure out how WOM works will reap millions.  Seriously.

That was the whole point of the videos over the weekend.  What particular theme strikes a chord with millions of Americans?  What set of circumstance allows an author to sell millions of copies?  What's the secret that makes family, friends and neighbors turn to each other and say, "OMG!  You've got to read this!"

As writers, we should study the best sellers.  And I don't mean folks like Patterson, King or Roberts.  I'm referring to the flashes that seem to ignite overnight, even thought the person(s) at the center of the flashpoint may have been kicking around for years or decades.

I stuck in Sons of Maxwell because United Breaks Guitars told a story.  The key to their tale was the utter disregard with which American corporations treat their customers.  For Amanda Hocking and Stephenie Meyer, teens could explore certain subjects that many adults refuse to discuss (or refuse to admit they have knowledge of) through fantasy.  The Da Vinci Code hit when many Americans struggled to redefine what faith means to them.

No matter what you personally think of these bestsellers, read them.  Study them.  Figure out what makes them dig deep into people's psyches and not let go.  If you can figure out the why, you'll be able to apply it to your own writing.

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