Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I'm here to:
- Try out new idea for marketing books
- Share my finding with authors that want to sell more books
- Network with other online promoters that would like to build their mailing lists
While I'm not a fan of Harry Potter, I do love books, and really like what the people at Scholastic are doing with this franchise. I think they are geniuses.
Imagine.. the largest first run ever for a book.. yet they have managed to convince millions that the book was so exciting that it was a good idea to wait in line in the middle of the night just to buy a copy.
If you have a book or business to promote, I hope you are paying close attention to the magic of Harry Potter. Study and emulate the best ideas... this is the best selling book ever. What more proof do you need that these ideas work?
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Here's a political statement... The people of the District of Columbia buy more Harry Potter books than the rest of us.
Amazon state list
As the largest retailer of Harry Potter, Amazon is in the unique postion to tell us the states and cities that order something more often. You can look up what others in your city, State or company are buying.
My state was 27th in rank on sales. My town didn't make the Amazon City List For Harry Potter
I wonder what the parties were like in DC?
Friday, July 20, 2007
It's a few minutes before midnight and I'm at my third Harry Potter launch party. We did see two vans from TV stations set up to do live feeds from Barnes and Nobles. I asked Jason at the counter.. he said that this particular store in an upper class neighborhood got singled out for several other stories "because we're the biggest chain"
Jason is scheduled to stay until 4am cleaning up the store. It's very weird to go back the next morning, see all the normal looking store with plenty of copies of the book available and wonder "how do they keep falling for this?"
Not much to get excited about.. but I do hope to snag a video clip of the midnight minute.
More important is the contrasts between the events I'm seeing tonight, the event I witnessed last time a Potter book came out, and the "normal" bookstore crowd.
Here's my take-aways...
- This launch will be the biggest yet. Many more locations, more noise, more costumes and larger crowds. (I was able to get to three with a short drive)
- My local Borders wins hands down (internet connection and a real contest for who gets to buy first)
- People still read. Despite a lot of noise, there are hundreds here doing just that
- Kids still love books. (Take that you the future is all ebooks folks)
- There is always room for more creativity. This craze will be replaced by the next.
- Fiction sells. (I get asked all the time if book promotion methods I teach work for fiction)
What will be next? There is no doubt in my mind that an eighth Potter book would sell well, and there will likely be derivative products in the Potter line for years to come. (maybe no more Potter books.. but my bet would be spin-offs for sure)
Whether they come up with more doesn't matter much. No, there is a larger lesson here. No matter what you're selling, the market is far from saturated. As long as we are creative, there is much more of this to come.
Like the Self-Help section I just walked past.. there was a book that promised to change my life in 30 days.. right next to one that said I could change anything in 21 days. (Funny I though 7 days was the magic number)
I would guess the Barnes and Nobles sold more books.. but a silly little poster made the promotions at Borders stand out.Here is the large sign (much large than the poster of course) and below is a very small part of the poster supply for just one Borders store
It's my first choice.. as the closest big store near my house, and usually a quiet location to take the laptop, browse what's new in book marketing and promotion, and connect through the T-Mobile hotspot connection.
Tonight, there are 4 times the heaviest traffic I've seen here, and about 3 times as noisy as the Potter party I attended in 2005. I've snapped a few photos that will be uploaded here, and will now move on to the Barnes & Nobles.
More stores having more parties.. lots of people standing in line.. and just like a lot of the Internet Marketing launches these days.. a BIG COUNTDOWN SIGN at the front of this store.
I read the WSJ to get facts. Business stuff.
And since Harry Potter is big business.. the WSJ has a lot of facts to share.
Here's the link to all their stories in one place:
This requires a log in and may cost you something.. but worth it.
I'll have more comments on this.. but right now, I'm off to observe a couple of Potter parties
Take a look at the multitude of cross promotions going on at Amazon at
As of Friday (the day before) Amazon ranks 7 of their top 10 sellers as Potter related
Hundreds of authors have heard my stories from the last Harry Potter book launch.
You see, I only used a few of the tactics we teach authors when I first created this blog. And instantly, I got much more credibility on the web..
But I really don't think we're teaching the book stores.. I'll leave that to Scholastic
Now.. look at what BORDERS did.
I'll post the link to the live feed here. Likely won't be much there after the launch.
But more important that you think about how inexpensive this is to do. Maybe you don't need a big budget like Scholastic and the major book stor chains. Perhaps you could have a video of a reading at your local store.
The launch party finder added to the hoopla..
Which one should I go to? There's seven Barnes and Nobles parties just here in Vegas.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
So it's time we did it again. With the pending release of another Harry Potter book, we're cranking up the ol' blog and will be posting more news, ideas and insights about the fantastic marketing machine that is the Harry Potter empire.
Watch for more Potter Marketing Secrets here soon