Thursday, May 10, 2007

Even book-promoting tchotchkes are cute

Seen on the wall in Octavia Books in New Orleans: a switchplate advertising the book, “The People of Sparks,” by Jeanne Deprau (Random House for Young Readers).
Cute. And effective. The book came out in 2004, and yet the switchplate still reminds a bookbuyer of the book each time one walks by.
Do tchotckes matter in book promotion?
In Obie Joe’s days in the newsroom of her city’s daily newspaper, there was a slop desk for the numerous press kits, books, products, folders, and so on. The stuff was ignored. But bring in a cake -- a very large sheet cake with Baltimore’s best icing -- and space was made, and attention was paid. Smart book publicists would spell out the author, date, time, and bookstore, and before the cake was ate, that author was sure to jump onto the page. Maybe the cake couldn’t guarantee a feature, but it did sweeten the deal for some coverage.
Another time Obie Joe was sent a huge jug of molasses. The book was written by a first time writer, and came from a small press. Plus, the topic -- about a huge molasses spill in Boston about 100 years ago -- was not guaranteed to move many outside Massachusetts.
Yet. There on Obie Joe’s desk was the book, the jug and the press release.
Oh what the hey, said Obie Joe the journalist. We gave it a book review. With photo, too.
Think about the tchotcke possibilities for your book. A heart shaped box? A book wrapped in lace? Do these work -- for eliciting a review, event coverage or feature?

No comments: