Leave it to a creative director from one of the world’s biggest internet marketing companies to creatively call into question many of the old assumptions about book publishing. With his wacky sense of humor, Andrew Kessler opened a Book Store on Hudson Street in New York City to launch his new book, Martian Summer (Pegasus). It’s not a Books Store; it’s a Book Store. Just one book is for sale: his.
With his chalkboard on the street and the storefront windows filled with displays of hundreds of copies of Martian Summer, Kessler calls attention to the crisis in traditional publishing. How books get published and how they are bought by readers is undergoing a fundamental shift.
HUGE is really the name of the internet marketing company Kessler works for days. Creative genius in his 9-5 gig, it works for him as an author. Video book trailers of comedic value captivated his social media networks in his pre-launch of the book. Clever marketing of books through internet media campaigns was just base camp for successful book marketing.
It’s the integrated marketing of Andrew’s book that makes his success worth noting. A storefront in the heart of the book district makes a point about the role of the author in today’s publishing marketplace. An author isn’t just a content provider; an author is a brand, a business, and a booster of books. The consumer’s connection to the author is what sells more books. The buzz generated by word of mouth generates interest from the New York Times (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/a-bookstore-thats-book-singular/) at the same time the social media networks begin to go viral. And sales bring him into the top 10,000 in book rankings two weeks after release. He’s giving Mary Roach (Packing for Mars) and Michio Kaku (Physics of the Future) stiff competition for book dollars this week. Kessler’s genius is with the integration of face to face, word of mouth, news coverage, social media campaigns, and the interactivity and connectivity of the new space frontier: cyberspace.
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