Thursday, January 28, 2010

The $6 Haircut - Creative Thinking in an Ever-Changing Marketplace

Most TV commercials make my eyes glaze over. But there's a commercial running right now for Office Depot that's not only funny, it's pretty darn perceptive.

"This is Dan," the announcer says. Dan owns a neighborhood barber shop. When a new chain-salon opens across the street offering $6 haircuts, Dan is distressed. He can't compete with that price. But Dan is not a man who gives up. Dan is smart. Dan is innovative. Dan shops at Office Depot, which is where he goes to buy everything he needs to make a banner proclaiming "WE FIX $6 HAIRCUTS." Six months later, the chain is out of business, and Dan is sitting pretty.

While the ad didn't make we want to run out and buy office supplies, it did get me thinking about how business owners react to changing trends. Which in turn got me thinking about how I react. As a writer, I'm really a small business owner. My books are my products, and all around me the publishing industry is changing.

Audio books, e-books, Kindle, iPad, Nook, web sites, book trailers, blog tours, social networking... Mark Twain didn't have to deal with any of this stuff! It can be overwhelming to be sure, but it's also invigorating. Today's Authors have more ways to connect with readers than ever before. The challenge is to grow, adapt, find what works for you and your peeps (or Tweets, if you're into that, as I am).

Here are some of the things I've done in my quest to publicize my new book, The Pastor's Wife (did I mention I have a new book coming out?)
  • I put together a blog tour
  • I created a book trailer
  • I blog (obviously)
  • I've got a web site (which isn't really new, but it's updated)
  • I did an audio interview on (a completely new experience for me)
  • I've made myself available for speaking engagements and book club visits
At this point, I feel like I've done everything I can do to promote the book, short of visiting Oprah (and if she call, I'm there!) Now, it's time for the readers to decide. Ultimately, they're the ones in charge of the most powerful marketing tool of all: word of mouth buzz.

Writers, what are you doing to market yourself that you never thought you'd do?
Readers, what was the last book you just had to tell your friends about? What made it so special?

Lightbulb photo -

No comments: