Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday Words: Word of Mouth

One of the biggest tools we talked about in my various classes in library school was the power of word of mouth. You can have the biggest marketing budget in the world for a book, but that may mean nothing if it doesn't have good word of mouth buzz. The Harry Potter series started out as the little book that could and turned into a world-wide, multi-million dollar phenomenon, and there have been a handful of similar situations before and since then.

I got to experience being a part of the power of word of mouth a bit this weekend and was reminded about how much of a change it can make. In January, I read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and was completely blown away. I've read a lot of amazing books this year, but that still remains my favorite. When it came time to put together suggestions at school for what to put on the summer reading list (we let students pick what they want to read from a set group of titles), I suggested TFiOS - it's the right age group, it's contemporary, still fairly new, and the students I had coming into the library who already read it loved it just as much as I had, so I knew that I wasn't just being biased by my love for the Vlogbrothers or with my background as an English major. The book was put on, and all of our copies are constantly checked out.

So naturally when I saw a work friend of mine with this book in hand last Friday as we were all taking off for the long weekend, I was so excited that she was finally taking the time to read it because I've been pestering her since January to do so. I gushed about it again and she was really excited. Then that night on Twitter she said she couldn't put it down. We had a bit of back and forth until she finished it Saturday night, and when we got back to work after the holiday weekend yesterday, she started gushing to our whole lunch table about this Amazing book she just read and now there are eight other people who are interested in what this YA novel is all about.

See? Just as the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, sometimes the journey of a book changing the lives of many starts with one compliment. So, moral of the story, if you like a book, say so!

And those are my two cents for today. Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

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