Carolyn Parkhurst’s Unlikely Novel Promotion

To promote her latest title, “The Nobodies Album,” Carolyn Parkhurst spent $150 for 30 days of individualized promotion. How? She chose 30 people offering interesting services through and paid them $5 each.

Since September 1, Parkhurst’s daily promotional posts have included, “I will record a video message of WINCHESTER the monkey saying anything;” “I will plan a menu around any book you like and include one original recipe;” “I will create a custom Mad-Lib story for you;” and “I will arrange Scrabble tiles to form a message in lush, green grass.” 

Here are the details about the beginning of her experiment. Today’s installment is “I will make an AMAZING Horror Glitch Style Intro Trailer for your business, website, product.”

Parkhurst is the author of “The Dogs of Babel” and “Lost and Found,” which are wonderful novels. In fact, I loaned out my copy of “Lost and Found” and need to track it down so I can reread it–in part to study how she fluidly manipulates so many points of view during an Amazing Race-type plot.

Although I’ve been charmed and amused by her unconventional promotion strategy, often checking her daily posts due to following her on Google+, I was already planning to buy “The Nobodies Album,” simply because Parkhurst wrote it. And because I read the review in The Oregonian, which alerted me to her book coming out. I’m one of those folks who still gets the majority of new-book news from the newspaper, even though reviews keep shrinking in size and number. (But that’s another post.)

That being said, due to her promotion efforts, now I will remember the title of the book–rather than walking into a local bookstore looking for “Carolyn Parkhurst’s latest.” And, since the Oregonian review came out this summer, and I haven’t rushed out to get “The Nobodies Album” yet, her daily posts have reminded me of the book’s existence. Will I run out and buy the book during these 30 days of publicity plugs? Maybe, but probably not. Is there a better-than-before chance I’ll buy the book before Christmas? Yes.

Speaking of online presence, writer and editor Sarah Cypher recently blogged about participating in Social Media Bootcamp. In the post “Social Media for Authors: Week 1 of 4,” Sarah discusses the benefits of GoodReads and how “social media does not equal promotion.”

As a reader/consumer, do you pay attention to online promotions? What makes you buy a book? Does reading somebody’s blog (or an author interview) encourage you to spend money on that author’s book?

About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Books, Fiction, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Carolyn Parkhurst’s Unlikely Novel Promotion

  1. Liz says:

    so cool, laura….i am always impressed by how enterprising some people can be.

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