Riding the Wave of a Blogging Tsunami
My debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, came out two days ago, on October 13th. I’ve been doing a lot of publicity for myself—reaching out to reviewers, writing blog posts like this one for others who’ve graciously made a spot for me in their schedules, and doing interviews. I wanted more, though, than I could do myself; I wanted masses of people to shout from their bloggy rooftops, “It has come! The Last Will of Moira Leahy is here! Look how pretty! Open this cover!”
Viral blogging, it’s called—and it’s the best form of viral I’ve ever seen.
So why do something like this? Is it all about vanity? Honestly, no. It’s all about Rate of Movement.
Rate of Movement refers to how quickly your books are moving off the shelf, and out of a store, in a given period of time. Rate of Movement is used to determine many things, including how likely it is that a bookstore reorders your book and just how visible your book is on a store’s radar. Rate of Movement also reveals the number of books that a store orders from a publisher that don’t sell, the number they return to a publisher. So, overall, Rate of Movement is a very important early indicator of a novel’s success.
The goal when doing something like viral blogging is to get the word out about your book so that many, many people go to a bookstore and buy—to push that Rate of Movement number in the right direction, to encourage re-orders from bookstores, and to prompt a re-print from your publisher. If you’ve heard that the first few weeks following a novel’s release are important, it’s because of this very issue.
So I knew what I wanted, knew why I wanted it, but I had no idea how to organize such an effort alone; I’d have to reach out to someone with experience.
Plenty of people/groups/sites offer blog tours, but I chose a site I’d come to know well through an association with my blog, Writer Unboxed, called Women on Writing (WOW). WOW not only set up additional blog and interview opportunities for me, they arranged for a virtual blogging tsunami to hit October 13th, an option called “Everybody’s Talking.” Over seventy bloggers participated in the event, including bloggers from all walks—other writers, book reviewers, teachers, mothers, 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings, 50-somethings, family-folk, meditators and even—yes—male bloggers. Jodi from WOW said she thinks we had such luck pulling in a diverse group because my book “appeals to a universal crowd.” I think she had such luck because she rocks.
And can I just say how cool it was to see everyone blogging about family relationships all at the same time—poignant posts, funny posts, honest posts—and mentioning my book in the same virtual breath. It might’ve been viral, but it was beautiful.
I hope the tsunamic effort put forth for The Last Will of Moira Leahy makes a true impact, but for now I just want to say thank you to all who’ve helped spread the word. I’m sincerely grateful to my friends here at Magical Musings and elsewhere, and the team at WOW. If my book does well, it will be because of all of our efforts.
Write on, all!