January 25, 2018

Creating the Buzz for Your Book

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

You don’t hear much from John Grisham these days. He has scaled back from his hard charging book and movie promotion days and rightfully so. Once a writer reaches the stratosphere he is in one can cruise if you so desire. In an interview in recent years Grisham was seated in his home with the interviewer and TV production crew. During the interview there was the constant ringing of a phone in the distant background. It was notable enough that Grisham felt it should be addressed. He explained that was the phone of his assistant. He went on to say he had let his assistant go years ago so he just lets the phone ring. I would say that is scaling it back.

That was why I was surprised to see on Grisham’s mailing list this week a promotion he had done for a fellow writer’s upcoming book. Grisham began by reminiscing about it being 27 years since the release of The Firm. He explained how he had been told by the folks at Doubleday of the great buzz around the book but he had no idea what to expect. As we know the book found an audience and was a big seller. He then went on to say every few years another debut author comes along and has that same buzz as he experienced with The Firm. Grisham said he gets excited for these writers and buys their book. But as we all know not all reach the best seller list.

Grisham went on to share the name of the book, the author, its genre and release date. He assured us that if we read the first chapter we will not be able to put it down. As short and to the point as it was it was powerful. Remembering this is a debut, aka unknown, author, the title means little or I should say less than the genre and the release date is of no consequence because there is no anticipation. But this is at the recommendation of a known author, a writer that knows a good book. His recommendation alone carries a lot of weight. If he can get us to buy the book and read the entire first chapter that in itself is a feat. It is said the average book is bought and only the first 10 pages are read so the entire first chapter is a push. And to make it easy you can order the book here. Not actually here but in his text was the word here in red. By clicking on it you could place the order. Deal closed. Excellent! 

Grisham was helping create a buzz for this debut author and their book. Why? Could be for money? Could it be a part of his contract with his publisher is to promote others contracted with the same publisher? Could it be that Grisham genuinely liked the book and was sending the elevator back down? It could be one or all of these that motivate the endorsement. No matter, the end effect is the buzz, the selling of books and the success of the debut author. It is the business of selling books. Any of us should be so fortunate to have such an endorsement. By the way Grisham did get in a plug for the 27th anniversary of his book The Firm.


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