My first buzz-building endeavor was completely accidental.
I was looking at several cover ideas for my book, and decided to send out a simple survey to ask others what they thought. So I signed up for a free account at SurveyMonkey, followed their instructions to create a survey, and linked to it from my Facebook account.
I got immediate responses — instant gratification! I could actually see the responses coming in to SurveyMonkey. I got about 25 responses, including some excellent comments — things I hadn’t anticipated about the way people viewed the cover images, related to colors, and interpreted the title.
And I was hooked. Even though one of the designs was preferred by a clear majority of responders, I wanted more responses … more data. So I linked my new Survey Monkey account to my existing MailChimp account. Then I sent out a newsletter (MailChimp calls them “campaigns”) to the people who subscribe to Travel Writers News (an opt-in newsletter I publish) asking those people for their opinions. They are all travel writers and photographers, so I thought it made sense to ask them about the cover for my travel memoir.
They answered — I was up to more than 160 responses. Their overall preference was the same as the Facebook responders’ overall preference. But the remaining three cover options began changing in priority — like horses in a race — as the responses came in. It was fun to watch.
I was uber-hooked.
I began trolling my email address book, looking for other people who might not mind giving me a few minutes of their time to help my book along … and I realized I was writing to the very people I would eventually want to know about my book. The very same people I would hope to hear “buzzing” about my book, by some mysterious process. Serendipitously, I had begun the buzz process in an organic way by communicating with the people I thought would be interested.
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