Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Book Publicity: Websites

Quick recap of what's going on this week:
  • The poll is still open! If you haven't already done so, head over to the right-hand column and tell us how old your characters are. And if you like, read the original post & comments.
  • Gearing up for NaNoWriMo! I'm CKHB over there, too.
And today's question: Have you ever spent time on a website for a book? Before reading it or after?

I'm not just talking about standard advertising here. I'm thinking about ongoing interaction. For example:

Joe Hill has a Last Breath Game based on one of his short stories. I bought & read his novel, then checked out the website, played the game, bought his collection of short stories, and am now a regular reader of his blog.

J.C. Hutchins's book Personal Effects comes with actual "personal effects" of the characters (there's a little folder on the front cover filled with goodies -- I've loved that sort of thing ever since I read Griffin and Sabine), and although the novel can be read and appreciated without playing with those extra items, I did call a bunch of the phone numbers, and visit some of the websites out of curiosity, just to see what else the author had created.

There's a new YA book out called Candor, about the model community of Candor, Florida... where parents control their teens through subliminal messages. This fictional community has its own town website.

What do you guys think of such promotions? Are they more likely to get you to buy a book? Or are they more likely to keep you interested in the author after you've read the book? Or is it only relevant when you absolutely adore a book to pieces and just want to prolong the book experience any way possible?

After reading Steve Hely's How I Became A Famous Novelist, I actually did an internet search for a novel mentioned within that novel, Peking, because I was hoping against hope that the book was real, or that perhaps the author who created so many amazing excerpts from other fake novels within his work would have created a fake excerpt of that book for me to read...

I didn't find anything for Peking, but in writing this post I found out that there is a website for the main character's novel The Tornado Ashes Club, and I see links to an interview and a blog... I'm off to read more!

Writers, would you consider doing anything like this? Readers, do you like it when authors go beyond the pages of the novel?

More reading: Character Blogs as a Branding Vehicle, Moving Beyond the Book


  1. I loved Griffin and Sabine. You've made me want to pick that series up again.

  2. I don't think I would do it as a writer and I probably wouldn't read it either, but I think it's a cool idea. I read a few published author blogs but I'm usually not looking for insight into the characters just information about the writer.

  3. I agree - I'd be more interested in, say, an author's blog than an extension of the book kind of website.

  4. I often check out an author's website after reading a book. I get very frustrated when I can't seem to find the author or much about them on the net- especially if I really liked the book. I want to be able to connect in some small way.

  5. Don't know I missed this awesome post yesterday, but what a nice way to highlight book marketing, Carrie. I love the idea of a specialized site to promote a book---in an ongoing way. I would totally do this. If anything, it is another hit on the internet that mentions your book. This is great.

  6. For the movie AI they published dozens and dozens of websites from their future world. See there's a space in the movie where the story pauses while the robot gets lost and when we rejoin the world its clear there's been some major tragedy but this is not actually important to the movie's plot.

    The whole web-campaign (which had many elements that kept changing, like blogs) took place in that period of time. It sort of covered who the characters became, but it was more about amusing puzzles, details like the politics and architecture of the world it was from, and hints about the environmental disaster which happened off-screen. It was like a whole second movie (and a pretty good one) hidden away in corners of the internet. With games!

    It was epic. Even though I only followed it on the periphery the memory of it makes all other attempts at online promotion look weak.


  7. Wow, I had completely forgotten about "Griffen and Sabine" until this post! That was an incredible work.

    I've never visited an author's site before, and honestly, I don't have plans to start. I do love seeing authors speak in person when I can, but other than that, I am content to let their work speak for itself.