Sunday, July 26, 2015

Paper Towns and Book Marketing

This weekend the movie Paper Towns released. If you don’t read young adult novels, then you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. The well-done film is based on the third novel, Paper Towns by bestselling author John Green. His bestselling book, Fault in Our Stars, also had a movie attached to it. For the launch of Paper Towns, check out his unusual marketing ideas, for example this video of the Get Found, Get Lost Tour (over 110,000 views on You Tube as of this writing).
For the opening of the Paper Towns movie, John Green greets the audience in the first few minutes and thanks everyone for coming to the movie.  In all of the movies, I’ve seen, I’ve never seen the author of the book do such an opening. Why?
John Green is known as a fun author who creates entertaining videos and has a huge following. By the author speaking at the beginning of the film everyone was reminded the movie was based on his book
  1. Books have more depth and information than any movie because of the limitations and differences between the two art forms. I’ve not read the book but Ashley Ross pointed out some of the distinctions in this article.
  2. The reminder will drive book sales and get more people to buy or read the book
It was a smart marketing move from John Green to thank the audience in the opening minutes of the film. It showed his support of the film (some authors dislike how their movies are portrayed and would never do such an opening) and drives more readers to his books.
As I mentioned in this 2005 article, it is rare for a book to become a movie. Yet every writer can learn the example of John Green. First, while Green is a bestselling author, he is active in the marketing of his books and products (like movies) associated with his books. You may be reluctant to jump into the marketing area but learn from watching people like John Green.
Second, look for something different or unusual to do for the marketing of your book. How can you stand out from other authors (in a good way) and be remembered? It may not be a movie but you can create a blog campaign or a real book tour or any number of other ways with your book—but it is up to you as the author to put the thought and energy into that campaign. You need to created it, then carry it out.  

If you don’t market and get people talking about you book, no one else will do it. As authors each of us wants someone else to do it. I continually hear complaints from every author. It does not matter who published their book (major publisher, minor publisher or self-published). The truth is the marketing and promotion of your book is your responsibility as an author. Your complaining will not help. Instead you need to follow the Nike slogan and just do it.

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