Goodreads posted an interesting blog post this morning about book discovery and the marketing engines churning out the next best sellers. The article does a good job of showing the effect of marketing pushes like giveaways, newsletter mentions, and interviews on the popularity of a book.
The blog post examines the popularity of best-selling non-fiction book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. But I suspect that many of their findings apply to any book, including young adult books.
- Readers discover books in a number of different ways. All these elements of discovery work together and amplify each other over time.
- It pays to start early. Random House ran three different giveaways to generate advance reviews, which resulted in both Goodreads editorial coverage and a placement in the Goodreads recommendation engine.
- Well-timed ads are crucial. The ad campaign, while not timed to the publication date, provided a nice boost at just the right moment, feeding the energy the publicity and marketing efforts had created earlier in the book's life.
- Word of mouth is the foundation. The red and orange areas represent people hearing about the book somewhere other than Goodreads or hearing about it from their friends on Goodreads. Notice how those two areas are present throughout the life of the book. They mirror the bigger moments in the book's promotion, spiking during the media mentions and the advertising campaign, but they are always there providing that "buzz" that gives a book staying power.
I wonder how many of those recommendations by word-of-mouth come from librarians? Will this change as we move into the future?
*image courtesy of zalouk webdesign on Flickr