Friday, November 12, 2010

Book marketing - Black Ops style?

I learned this week that The Quick and the Thread has been nominated by RT Book Reviews for the 2010 Best Mystery/Suspense - Amateur Sleuth Novel Award. I'm thrilled! I'm up against some wonderful competition, but just being nominated should generate reader interest in TQTT and Stitch Me Deadly, right?

But on Monday at approximately 11:30 p.m., I realized that "interest" is a completely relative term. My son wanted Call of Duty: Black Ops, and it was launching at midnight on Tuesday, the 9th. He'd never been to a midnight launch before (neither had I), and he'd been waiting for this game for months. So I took him. As I was driving him to the game store, I imagined three or four cars in the parking lot...maybe 20 other kids in the store. In fact, I said, "I'll wait in the car while you go in and get your game. You'll look cooler that way."

When I pulled into the parking lot, my jaw dropped. It was full. Music was playing from either inside or near the store, and two large-screen monitors had been set up to provide game demonstrations for those waiting to pick up their copies. The store was offering free food and drinks (I did wait in the car; my son brought me a drink and asked me if I'd like a piece of steak or a chicken or steak fajita--how sweet was that?)

It was COLD, and people were lined up all the way down the street. The store personnel said that 500 copies of the game were reserved, and that they estimated that at least 300 people were there. And, of course, this wasn't the only store in town hosting a midnight launch of the game. There were launches at all the big retailers in our area.

It was like a Black Friday event. However, the game wasn't being offered at a reduced price. The shoppers didn't get any bonuses (unless you count the free food and drinks) for being at the store at midnight for the launch.

I was amazed at the diversity of the group--male teens dominated, of course, but there were children, women, and men who left clutching their games as if they were bars of gold. Long after I got home and got into bed, I was thinking Huh?! I wanted in. I wanted people to line up (not necessarily even in the cold at midnight--I'd settle for warmth at midday) to buy my book. I came up with the following ideas:

1) Rename all my books that haven't been released yet: Call-O-Duty: Stitch Me Deadly; Call-O-Duty: Murder Takes the Cake. (See how I changed the name to avoid copyright infringement? Yeah, I know...I know.)

2) Rename my main characters Calla Doody and Blackie Opps.

3) Get in touch with the Black Ops folks and beg them to make a really cool video game based on my books. (Once again...I know. Cozy mysteries do not lend themselves to multi-person war-type games. But these people are BRILLIANT. They could make it work! Does anyone have their number?)

P.S. See that skydiver? That could be Marcy...or Calla...or even Blackie. ;)


Marian Allen said...

You could sell it to the gamers as a First-Person Salad Shooter adventure.

Marian Allen

Gayle said...

LOL! Salad Shooter! I love it! We could also have Daphne shooting icing stars at Wilton character cakes. You think if we build it, they will come? :)

Lisa Hall said...

How about peltings with sprinkles or little cannons made to shoot those tiny silver balls used to decorate confections? That could put an eye out!

Gayle said...

Lisa, you remind me of poor little Ralphie. "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" :)

Marian Allen said...

Oh, Gayle, mothers were warning kids about losing their eyes long before Ralphie. If it wasn't "shooting" it was "putting" or "poking". If I had a nickle for every time some grownup warned me I was going to put my eye out, I could buy an spare eye!

Marian Allen