Saturday, August 23, 2008

MiniBookExpo Review - Guerrilla Publicity

A short while ago I started following a fascinating blog movement started by Alexa Clark, the genius behind the "Cheap Eats" series of books that profiles great restaurants in various cities (like Toronto and Ottawa) where you can get a decent meal without breaking your pocket book. It works this way: Books are offered out on the MiniBookExpo blog, bloggers claim them, get them, read them then post a review. Or, for full details, read the full rules here. The following is a review from a book I claimed:

Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars - Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman & Jill Lublin

Here is a book that I was definitely looking forward to reading from two different points of view. One, as a writer, I wanted to check it out and see what benefits I could reap learning new and strategic methods of garnering publicity for my writing projects. Second, as a manager of an independent bookstore, constantly up against the large corporate booksellers and the "Amazon's" of the world, with large amounts of cash at their disposal for publicity and promotions, it's always good to determine surefire methods of capturing attention.

This second edition of Guerrilla Publicity (headed by Jay Conrad Levinson, creator of the Guerrilla Marketing series) comes out six years after the first edition's release. I was rather excited to see that the new edition addressed not only traditional media outlets but also a slew of Web 2.0 publicity options, including podcasts, blogs, social networking sites, etc.

In terms of learnings, I benefited greatly from reading this book -- the introductory chapters, especially, help lay the groundwork out for the concept of what it means to create a clear and consistent message for delivery. I was also impressed with the snippets of Guerrilla Intelligence, Guerrilla Tactics and Guerrilla Tales blocks of text scattered throughout each of the chapters. They either nicely summed up or offered specific and concrete examples related to the points being addressed in the main text.

Personally, I gained more insight from the more traditional methods of garnering publicity than I did from the Web 2.0 strategies discussed. I didn't realize, until after I read this book at how much information I've been able to distill from various sources over the years. For example, I have gained tremendous insights listening to various podcasts like the Tee Morris podcast "The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy" in which he specifically discusses methods for writers to get the world to notice YOUR books over the several hundred thousand others being offered out there. And in terms of understanding social media and networking sites, having attended various Campus Stores Canada and Canadian Booksellers Association workshops and conferences these past several years, I have gained tremendous knowledge of applying digital strategies for my business.

However, for someone who hasn't benefited from jam-packed information sessions, conferences and professional workshops, Guerrilla Publicity does offer a comprehensive and concise introduction to using digital technologies and the internet to garner attention and publicity.

In conclusion, Guerrilla Publicity is definitely a book I would recommend to writers and business owners alike. There is much intelligence on publicity strategies to be learned from the book. And it contains not only a series of low-cost stategies for garnering attention and publicity, but also offers very clear guidance on maintaining focus and a consistent "brand" in all communications.

1 comment:

Ruth L.~ said...

Hi Mark, Your blog came up on a "google alert" that I have set for book reviews, and I'm glad I checked it out for a couple of reasons. One I love humor, and after reading your 101 things . . . I see that you have a sense of humor, and secondly I see you're a writer and a reader. The "Internet Review of Books" (I'm an associate editor) is always looking to add to their stable of reviewers. Are you interested in reviewing? BTW, I'd never heard of Guerilla Publicity,, but I'm going to check it out.