Saturday, August 20, 2011
What "The Help" has to say about marketing
My husband and I saw "The Help" yesterday. I'd read the book and was curious about the movie version.
I'd also read enough reviews so that I knew most comments were along the lines of How Far We Have Come, It Wasn't Like That With MY Family, or Thank Goodness That Can't Happen in This Day and Tine.
I wsn't thinking that at all. I was thinking of how Kathryn Stockett's book shot to the top of the best seller list and garnered a film contract. I'm pretty sure she wasn't Tweeting back in 2009, when the book was published. I checked her website and it was copyrighted in 2010, so that came after the fact also. As for a blog, she may write one, but I haven't found it.
No, her primary marketing tool was word of mouth.
You could see it working in the movie as the camera panned over scenes of women reading the book, cover prominently displayed. There were scenes of women talking about the book, face to face or over the telephone. People told people about the book and they bought it and told other people.
Isn't that the phenomonen we all wish for ourselves? That somehow our book would be talked about, praised, and finally pushed to the top of the Times best-seller list -- and stay there for weeks on end?
Last week a woman stopped me while I was walking. "I'm reading your book right now," she said and went on to flatter both the book and me to the point that I stopped her with a gesture. "My head is getting too big," I apologized. I thanked her for the kind words and said how much I appreciated hearing them.
In retrospect, I should have asked her to tell all her friends and relations the same things she had told me, and asked them to tell their friend and relations.
Facebook, websites, blogs and Twitter can do only so much. Ads are expensive. There are only so many book clubs in the area. In the end, it's whether or not people like your book well enough to tell their friends that will get the word out there.
So I'm keeping my fingers crossed ...
Because it really is a good book!