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Let TypeTribe Roll Out Your Red Carpet

July 21, 2009

I’m beginning to understand that I can’t write two blog entries a night, one for each blog. So on occasion, when applicable, I’m going to publish the same entry on the same day on both blogs. Here’s today’s:

A few images have floated across my field of vision recently:

  1. The fake but reality-inspired movie premiere on last Sunday’s episode of Entourage.
  2. The real but fantasy-inspired book premiere of J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book as shown on last week’s special, J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life.

I just watched the latter this evening on TiVo, and I was struck–nay, overwhelmed–by the reception Rowling received on the night Book 7 was released. It was an event. For a book. No movie stars present–just Rowling, her husband, and thousands upon thousands of fans.

When the clock struck midnight, Rowling opened the book and started reading. Readers around the world listened to her share the first few pages of her book, hanging on every word.

This, I thought, this is how it should be.

Granted, movies are a completely form of entertainment than books. Frankly, they’re easier to enjoy, and easier to obsess about. Not only do they have all the things books have–themes, plots, stories, intrigue, etc–but they have the visual element and the celebrities and the prima donna directors. It’s not like you can invite the stars of the latest David Anthony Durham book to the premiere.

But I think the reason that most books don’t have premieres–even release parties–is not an issue of the medium itself but merely an issue of marketing. You have to build momentum to the point of fan fervor, to the point that they can’t wait a minute more before knowing what happens next.Even for a debut novel, you need to have an element of what happens next. Why else would you ever turn a page?

TypeTribe is not the sole solution, but it is a piece of the puzzle. TypeTribe is also not a marketing gimmick–it’s a legitimate way to get in touch with hundreds of readers who have never heard of you, let them make an impact (even just a small impact) on your work, and then leave them hanging. Leave them wanting, and then dazzle them at the premiere.

I can’t make any promises, but for the first debut novel for which an author uses TypeTribe to get the word out about his/her book, I’d like to roll out the red carpet for them and make an event of their premiere. I look forward to that day.

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