Word of mouthby Charity Tahmaseb
Even in the world of relentless, online promotion, I always had the sneaking suspicion that word of mouth still sold books. I don’t blame authors for trying anything they can, because getting the word (of word of mouth) out there can’t be easy. As someone hoping to publish someday, I pay close attention to what I think might work and what might not (emphasis on might).
We’ve all seen blog tours where the hostess hasn’t read the book. I’m probably not the only one who has received an author newsletter I never signed up for.
What gets my interest online, about books? An intriguing title in a blogger’s To-Be-Read list. I read Naked in Baghdad because it was on Noodler’s Colleen Gleason’s TBR list. A recent review by a blogger I read on a regular basis had me requesting The Thirteenth Tale from the library. In the end, it’s not the flash or promises of prizes. It has more to do with trust than trinkets.
The other day, I had my own close encounter with word of mouth. Now, I’m a low-key kind of blogger. I don’t sweat my Technorati rating or obsess over my stats. Not too long ago, I’d received a nice email from a gentleman who discovered my Blogging Airborne series via a Google search. (He was searching on the I-Bar at Fort Benning, GA. The infamous I-Bar, the one with the strippers. He didn’t elaborate. I didn’t ask him to.)
I thought nothing of it until I glanced at my stats the next day and saw a spike--and that’s putting it mildly. Normally my stats resemble a graphical representation of the Great Plains. What I saw that day was serious Himalayan action.
That nice gentleman apparently emailed the link to the series to all his friends. He also, apparently, has a lot of friends. People from all over were reading my blog.
After a week of frenzied activity, some nice emails and comments, things calmed down. I still get Blogging Airborne hits, a few Google searches on the I-Bar and strippers. (Please, people, I am so not an expert--I never even got through the door.)
The whole incident made me think. All it took was connecting with one person. And sure, those seem like needle-in-the-haystack kind of odds. But it can happen. And when it does, it’s magical.