Brian Paone

Author // Musician

Creating intrigue as writer....

This angle of self-promotion actually was sparked by author Wim Verveen’s facebook page that he created for his novel, “Indexed.” I “liked” the book’s page, expecting more of the same ol’ same ol’—reviews of the book periodically, updates on what he’s working on now—you know, run of the mill stuff. What I got what was one my favorite and mysterious posts that show up on my news feed every day. (Now this isn’t an ad for Wim’s page, I’m going somewhere with this.) The reason why his page MADE me want to read his book is the intrigue he creates with his mini-ads. They are apocalyptic or sparse images, with quotes overlaid. And the quotes are very foreboding and mysterious. His ads alone have made me want to read a book, by an author I have never heard of, about something that I’m not even sure what it’s about. Now THAT is good promotion. Remember the signs “WHO IS JOHN GALT?” that lined the highways in America for years? Turns out he was a character in Ayn Rand’s book, “Atlas Shrugged.” Shit, for the first few months I thought he was some politician running for President or some religious nut and advertising some new born again church in the south. Nope. It was for a book. Hundreds of billboards all of America. Millions of people reading and asking, “who IS John Galt??” There was a Simpson’s episode where a mysterious sign showed up in Springfield promising that “something” was coming. By the end of the episode, and before the big reveal, the entire town had gone crazy trying to figure out what was coming. The anticipation and guesswork was almost greater than the actual payoff of the item itself. Who knows, maybe Wim’s book is garbage, maybe it’s genius; the point is that his marketing approach has made me WANT to read it. Has made me EXCITED to read it. Those billboards made me WANT to know who John Galt was. The first week they were up, I could’ve cared less. By the 6th week, I was losing sleep over it. You are all writers, which means you are slightly more creative than the average Joe (sorry for anyone named Joe. That wasn’t a personal dig). You need to brainstorm and really think about a way to create intrigue for your book, or you will always be plankton in the vast ocean of sharks and sperm whales. (I wasn’t being dirty there, sperm whales are just the largest toothed predator in the world so I thought it was a good analogy). My marketing and promotional tip is for those authors getting ready to publish for the first time. Take a page out of Win’s approach and MAKE me want to read your book without saturating your social media with 5 star reviews, a shiny cover, and an intriguing synopsis. Think outside the box and make your book feel like an EVENT!

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