Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Making me want marketing

I tend to dislike advertising. No, scratch that, I tend to despise it with the flames of a million suns. On occasion, however, it can happen that I desire it. For instance, one publisher I rather like the stable of is Orbit. They publish, among others, Iain M. Banks, K. J. Parker, and Joe Abercrombie. The last two are the two authors who have earned automatic buys from me; I will buy anything they've written, based on the sheer quality of their previous work. Only one other author has ever enjoyed that status with me, although I've since demoted him: Terry Pratchett. Orbit have recently started doing a podcast; their format is roughly half an hour to an hour of conversation between a regular host and an author, so far (in the two episodes released to date) one with a new title either just out or coming soon. I only caught the first episode because Joe Abercrombie mentioned it (he being one of those authors who keeps a blog, interacts with readers, and generally keeps his fans informed of what's going on and what they can expect soon, in contrast to the rather secretive authors who toil in obscurity and on occasion release a book) and the fact that he was going to be on it. There was an iTunes link, so I pointed iTunes thereat (since I own an iPod, I do have a use for iTunes now) and it cheerfully slurped down a rather interesting interview with the chap, who sounded roughly as I'd imagined, and as though I'd greatly enjoy a beer with him. Since the first episode had proven interesting, I didn't bother to delete the feed from my trawl (the joys of a thousand gigabyte hard disk; I currently am not remembering to delete anything, because it's not as though I'm short on space), and today a second episode arrived featuring an author, Jesse Bullington, who I hadn't heard of, but for whatever reason discussing similar themes such as swearing in fantasy fiction, whether gruesome descriptions of injury are justified, and so on. I shall very probably be looking for this chap's work next time I'm in a bookstore; the descriptions which came up in the discussion made them sound very much like something I'd enjoy.

And so, I have been successfully advertised to. I've been given more information on a thing I already liked, which enticed me to stick around and obtain information on something I didn't yet know that I liked. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what you need to do to market things successfully. Let people know about what they don't yet know that they like. You don't achieve that by giving them earworms, attempting to cave their skulls in with excessive volume, or causing seizures with flashing lights; you do it by treating them as intelligent beings who enjoy interesting information.

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