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Hearing a Book Commerical Loud and Clear
Across the nation this summer, several bookstores closed. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, two bookstores closed, one a children’s book store and the other a travel bookstore. The likelihood that more stores in the area will follow these is high.
Amazon just released the Kindle Fire, a tablet to be in competition with the iPad. Books are going digital and bookstores are closing. So what do publishers do to help sell physical and digital books?
Well, how about a commercial?
Until recently, over the course of my life (which is roughly two decades), I had only seen a handful of commercials that sell books. They were usually for a ghost-written James Patterson novel about murder, sex, and intrigue. The commercials were flashy and usually had a man and woman embracing while dramatic music played before the book would be shown at the end. I always thought I was watching a movie preview to find out that it was a commercial for a book. And unless I was already a fan of Patterson, I would not have been beckoned to read his latest.
Now that every celebrity has decided to write a memoir about his/her life, book commercials might have more of an edge. Jane Lynch, a comedian and actress from “Glee” recently released her memoir (Happy Accidents) and to accompany it, a commercial. The commercial followed Lynch around a Barnes and Noble as she harassed customers and bookshelvers to buy or showcase her book. The harassment fits perfectly with Lynch’s public persona as a ruthless but hilarious cheerleading coach in “Glee.” If you know Lynch, you’d probably buy her book. If you didn’t know Lynch, and you saw her commercial, you might be interested in flipping through it at a bookstore--or maybe not.
As the formula changes for how books will be purchased and read (online and on a screen), it is the perfect time to figure out how to get people interested in books. Commercials or otherwise.
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