Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Blogging Interviews

To promote Personality Not Included, Rohit Bhargava invited fellow bloggers to send him five questions about the book. As part of the offer, he promised that the best interview would win a signed copy of the book and a $100 gift certificate from Amazon. 55 bloggers took him up on his offer.

One blogger, for example, asked for Bhargava's elevator pitch. His response: "Faceless companies don't work anymore. In the social media era, personality matters."

Another asked him if he considered himself a Simon, a Randy, or a Paula (the American Idol judges). He responded, "Definitely Simon, because he's authentic. Authenticity to me means not blowing smoke up people's behind when you think they are stupid."

Still another asked him if the weird little wind-up chickens on the book cover had any significance. Nope. They were simply used to help the book stand out in the business section of bookstores. As Bhargava noted, "Have you seen chickens on any other marketing books?"

In his summary of this effort (http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/ weblog/2008/04/pni-virtual-int.html), Bhargava hinted that next time he did something like this, he'd probably make it easier for the bloggers (and him) by having them ask only 3 questions.

Now, the one thing he did not report was the effect on sales. Yes, he got featured in 55 blogs. Neat. But did he sell any books? I just checked his Amazon rank (17,329 as I write this blog post). For a comparison, here's the Amazon rank for 1001 Ways to Market Your Books (with no blog campaign going on recently): 6,599.

So, while some of the bloggers praised his book marketing campaign, he never reported the key stat: how many books did he sell. Alas.

Now, I liked what he did. You might try it yourself to promote your book. But if you do, please tell me how it affected your book sales. That's the key to marketing books. You must sell books.
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