Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Sells?

We write because we love it. But if we want to get an agent and become published-- we have to be able to sell ourselves. A query is part of that. And Elana blogged about social networking today. Building a platform and getting our names out there is part of that.

Even then there is that mystery spark that nobody can predict that will create buzz. YouTube has made some unlikely celebrities. Why do some things catch on and others don't?

Why do some unremarkable books make a huge splash while other well crafted books get overlooked?

I'll admit that I'm usually immune to advertising. But here is a campaign that worked on me. It made me buy Old Spice. I mean, look at him. (= Cute AND funny? Deadly combo.



What has caught on for you lately?

24 comments:

Angela Felsted said...

That is funny!

NiaRaie said...

Advertisements usually don't work on me, unless it's food. For example, I do not like Burger King, but whenever I see it in a movie I go out and get it afterward. Of course, I am disappointed.

Donna Hole said...

That commercial certainly has it merits. I'd buy Old Spice too if I had a steady date. I doubt the cologne would make MY date look like that.

......dhole

TS Hendrik said...

Those commercials freak me out a little. haha
I saw an interview with him awhile back though. Really funny guy.

Johanna Garth said...

It depends when it comes to advertising-like I won't go to Carl's Jr. just because I think their current advertising campaign is clever.

When it comes to books, all too often, I judge a book by its cover. What can I say-love a nice cover!

Medeia Sharif said...

I love the commercial. Advertising does work. Sometimes I read a popular book and think, "So what?" and I've read beautiful books that barely make a dent in publishing.

I'm off to read Elana's blog.

S.B.Niccum said...

I saw a book trailer about a chapter book for kids. The title was something like "Bobby's evil side" or something like that (it was meant to be kind of like Diary of a Whimpy Kid) any way, they had a bunch of kids doing an evil laugh. It was hilarious! I'll try to find it if I can. That's all they did for the trailer, but everyone got the picture.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some of those commercials are clever. And if I knew the secret, I'd already be doing it.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Unfortunately advertising does get the message out. EVEN when the product ISN'T that good.

Yes, we do have to sell ourselves. It's part of being an accomplished author these days.

We have become a juggling act.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm glad you had such a nice time with your sister in Chicago.

Wendy G. Ewurum said...

I've always thought that the writer has to have the X-factor you're talking about that will captivate the reader but another writer also pointed out that you have to find your audience and that can be the biggest challenge. So I agree the more you're out there, the bigger the chance of connecting with your audience.

David Powers King said...

Love that commercial. What sells? Good stuff. Making that good stuff is the hard part, but so much fun!

Lynn Colt said...

Witty, funny and self-deprecating usually work to catch my attention :) A big blog presence will make me check out a book, but in the end I will only buy if the book sounds like something I'd like anyway. I'm always curious if people really do buy someone's book just because they like the person's blog ...

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Lightning strikes where it will. All we can do is be ready with a quality novel, authentic to the human condition :

equal parts of love, sizzle, funny, and action with overtones of suspense and mythic wonder.

Be true to your dream, hoping the right agent and the right publisher are looking for what your dream evokes.

Wendy G. Ewurum said...

I love this ad, i didn't see it last night, got distracted. Fb_ing pronto. LOL

Bossy Betty said...

I always watch this one!

T.D. McFrost said...

Hi Jo!

I love your new AVATAR, and boy are you a looker! Good lord!

Anyway, what sells and what doesn't really depends on inherent taste. What's this? Well, humans are programmed, in such a way, to identify with what is meaningful, even though they, themselves, might not find it as such under normal circumstances. It is why word of mouth is so successful, because people often feel left out when others are "crazy" over a fad. Of course, that is the general man, which is why those with an "advanced pallet" (those who know what they are about and what they want) are often not considered in an overall consensus of the brand's marketing. When you have a product it it best to design it for a general taste rather than one more adept. This is one of biggest reasons horrible books make it big and other, more tasteful, novels do not.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hi, Jo! You're so right. I can't be sure what to tell you on that. I don't go haywire when everyone buzzes about something and rush to be first in line. I take my time with those and utilize my own free-thinking abilities to judge for myself if that movie, book or whatever really is as good as everyone thinks it is.

Very interesting point you've made here!

Take care!

♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥

Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance Darkspell coming fall of 2011!
www.authorelizabethmueller.com
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ihaveabackbone said...

I say that the best chance to get noticed is to put yourself in the path of opportunity...and then wait for luck and good fortune to happen. For instance, about a year ago one of my employees gave me notice. She was secretely blogging, did something random that she blogged about, and it took off like wildfire. Now, she's sort of famous. You never know when it's going to strike...but you need to be looking for it so that you notice it when it happens.

Alleged Author said...

You SO took my commercial. I love that commercial. It gives enough comedy and surprise, and that equals effectiveness. I think everything has a chance of selling (smelling...ha ha...punny!) if it's done well enough.

AVY said...

Getting more people to read what I write is like a drug, even though I'm only rambling about my little life.

/ Avy
http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com



DEZMOND said...

"Why do some unremarkable books make a huge splash while other well crafted books get overlooked?"

I work in publishing industry and it is a question that puzzles me as well. I've worked on so many bad books which were huge hits and I've also seen so many great books which didn't succeed. It's the injustice I SAY :( I guess stars sometimes conspire against us :)

Susan Fields said...

Funny commercial! I don't usually get to watch commercials because my husband Tivo's everything and fast forwards commercials. What I have been buying lately, though, are books, and most of those I heard about on blogs.

Sophie Li said...

Hello! New follower here!

LOL I love those Old Spice commercials! I think the latest series of marketing genius that has hooked me are the previews for the new F/X show "Wilfred" starring Elijah Wood. Every commercial just makes me laugh-out-loud ... hysterically.

Valerie said...

I just saw Stephen Jones perform a couple of weeks ago. Funny guy!

I do not understand why some books hit it big and are awful!