In the thriller Ten, published in 2012, ten teenagers are trapped on an island and murdered, one by one, by a serial killer.
When she learned Barnes & Noble would not be stocking her novel, author Gretchen McNeil took matters into her own hands.
Using the Internet as a marketing tool, she participated in a blog tour, chatted live on Twitter, and even hosted an online trailer launch “party”. But the best idea, which caught my attention, was mobilizing what she referred to as the “Army of Ten”.
McNeil used the Internet to recruit an “army” of fans to not only promote the novel but also to help get the book into stores.
Fans started out as privates in the army and received promotions through the ranks by completing certain tasks. For example, when they tweeted that they had joined the Army of Ten, they were promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Upon completing each task, they received a new promotion. The final and highest rank of General could be attained by locating a bookshop that didn’t stock her book, and asking or persuading them into ordering it.
McNeil also promised to reward the Generals with a mention in the acknowledgments section of her next book.
And guess who is recommending her books. Yes, Barnes & Noble, in 22 of Our Most Anticipated Contemporary YAs of the Second Half of 2016.
McNeil is due to publish two novels with HarperCollins in 2016.
Some of the very best book marketing ideas involve engaging with your fans while motivating them to help you get the word out.
About This Post
This post is part of my series of Best Book Marketing Ideas. What are your thoughts about this idea? Please let me know in the comments section below.