Random Word of Mouth

Random Acts of Publicity: Word of Mouth

About a dozen times these past few weeks, I’ve found myself saying, “Have you seen ‘Julie and Julia’? It’s so funny. Meryl Streep just becomes Julia.”

Yes, word-of-mouth is still the best publicity.


A great source of information about kids and reading is the Consider this Scholastic study, the 2008 Kids and Family Reading Study (Download the entire pdf or watch a video clip. )

Word of Mouth: Talk to kids!

The Scholastic study on Kids and Reading says,:

  • Kids overwhelming (89%) say “My favorite books are the ones I picked out myself.”
  • Sixty-eight percent of kids say they love or like reading books for fun a lot (72% of girls/ 63% of boys).
  • Half of all kids say there aren’t enough really good books for boys/girls their age.

What? Not enough really good books? Surely that’s partly because no one has told them about a special book – and you’re just the one to do that.

Word of Mouth: Talk to parents!

The Scholastic study also says that, “Parents are a key source of book suggestions for their children, but nearly half of all parents say they have a hard time finding information about books their child would enjoy reading, and especially parents of teens age 15-17 (62%).”

Wow! What an opportunity!

Word of Mouth: Talk to booksellers, librarians, teachers, or other professionals!

It’s called industry buzz. The more professionals talk about a book, the more it gets talked about and has a chance to break out into the general public.

Word of Mouth: Talk to anyone!

The last few weeks when I’ve been telling people about the movie, Julie and Julia, I haven’t confined myself to cooks or pretenders to the title of chef. Instead, I’ve found it coming up naturally in conversation. For a friend’s book, you may have to do a bit more explanation up front, since the book might not have the press coverage that the “J and J movie” has had. But a bit of explanation, followed by your enthusiasm – that’s what will help spread the word.

Your Random Acts of Publicity Task for Today

Your task: Tell one person about your friend’s book.

Please, post a comment about what you did today.

13 thoughts on “0

  1. I read WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead and was dazzled by the story and the economy with which she told it. There wasn’t an extra word in the book, and scenes, dialogue and characterization all played dual roles. Brilliant work–and something I would imagine kids would really, really enjoy reading.

  2. For my word-of-mouth I had planned to contact an old acquaintance, L, about Sara Lewis Holmes’ new book, Operation Yes, which is about a special group of students and their teacher at a school on a military base. L’s family is military and always on the move. The last time I talked to her was a year ago, June, when she and her kids packed up and followed her husband to Ohio. We always used to talk about books when we saw each other, and I’d mentioned Sara’s book back then as one to watch out for. Since the book is now out, I decided to look up L and let her know. Super early this morning, I scanned my address book, searching for her e-mail. No luck. Then I took my kids to the first day of school. There, in the lobby, was L! She’d just moved back to Virginia. Word-of-mouth mission accomplished in person!

  3. I just finished LOST by Jacqueline Davies, a terrific historical novel set in early twentieth century New York. Couldn’t put it down! Today I told my daughter and 5th grade granddaughter and brought it to my librarian. Let’s see, this week I have dental and hair appointments – lots of opportunities for random publicity!

  4. My mom buys loads and loads of books, for her 6 children, her 20 grandchildren and her 20 great-grandchildren. Books have been her presents of choice for all. Today I told her about my crit buddie, Judith Snyder’s children’s book WHAT DO YOU SEE? coming out this fall with Odyssey Books. I also showed her how to get on Judith’s website.

  5. I twittered about Deborah Hopkinson’s ABE LINCOLN CROSSES A CREEK and pointed to her profile on my website where readers can find out more about her with a link to her website. Deb is a master with pb historical fiction/nf!

  6. Martha, sounds like a great book. Now I’ll have to look for it.

    Madelyn, what a funny coincidence that you ran into her again. Cool.

    Jean, you’re sneaky to rope in your mom! Sounds like she’s game for it.

    Patricia, you can’t go wrong recommending Deborah’s boks.

    C.Lee, thanks for posting a nice piece about ASH.

    I talked to the children’s librarian here in Little Rock about Alan Gratz’s contemporary Shakespeare stories. She was glad to have another resource on Shakespeare. (www.alangratz.com See his books, Something’s Rotten and Something’s Wicked.)

  7. I always share my friend’s books with my students at the Institute of Children’s Literature. The latest recommendation was about Dori Butler’s TRADING PLACES WITH TANK TALBOTT. One of my students wanted to address the effect of tragedy on a family.

  8. Today’s RAP (I love that acronym)is:

    My friend L.K. Madigan is soon to have her debut novel, Flash Burnout, appear on bookshelves. You can also pre-order at Amazon and be among the first to read her poignant, funny, and very excellent young adult book.

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