The Return of the Digital Handsell
When we launched the Advent Book Blog last year we could not have foreseen how popular it would become. We were just trying to do something that we thought might be interesting to us and some of our bookish friends.
We had hoped to have enough entries to post a single book reco per day but we ended up with way more than 100 of them by the end.
And so it is that we’ve created a very special ‘how to’ guide for book enthusiasts of every stripe:
The Advent Book Blog How-To:
1. Imagine that you’re a bookseller (maybe you already are a bookseller) and your dream customer has arrived: needs a book to give as a gift, is open-minded, price is no object, trusts your taste.
What book, in a perfect world where availability isn’t an issue, would you enthusiastically put in your customers hand?
2. The book can be from any time or place – tho books published within the last year are preferred.
3. The book can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novel, memoir, kid lit, on and on and on. If it has an ISBN, it’s eligible.
4. The book does not have to be a marker of your preferred reading tastes or the ones you’re known for or the kind you write, if you happen to be an author. It’s open season. Just pick a book you love.
Now the restrictions. Constraints are fun!
1. The Advent Book Blog is an enthusiasm channel that hopes to create a space online where people can find out about new books from authentic voices and find out more about the people who read and care about them.
2. Because it is an enthusiasm channel the Advent Book Blog is not a marketing channel . Please avoid conflicts of interest – personal/professional – in the books that you recommend.
3. If you’re a writer with a book in publication (or work in publishing) please feel free to mention this stuff in your short bio.
The Anatomy of the Digital Handsell (ie what your reco should include):
1. 50 – 75 enthusiastic words about the book that you recommend. (Email us if you want to write something longer).
2. Low res image of the book jacket: preferably 300 p high to accompany the reco.
3. Full publisher info including ISBN & price. (TIP: You might be able to pull a lot, if not most, of the above book info from a publisher site or an online retailer.)
4. 20 or so words about yourself & a photo (200×200) of yourself looking suave.
5. Send all the information to firstname.lastname@example.org. SUBJECT: [YOUR NAME + BOOK TITLE]
When do you need this information?
It’s our hope to queue as many of these up in advance as humanly possible so we can focus on promoting your efforts once December rolls around. So, give it a day or so, and then fire when ready! Operators are standing by…
Come December 1st, we’ll start pushing out the recommendations on Twitter, Facebook and AdventBookBlog.com!
As titles start to come in, we’ll contact a few publishers and authors directly to ask for their participation, which could include giveaways, Q&As, live chats, you name it! All in the spirit of building book buying buzz!
Advance thanks and gratitude to Carmel Purkis who has come on board and will also provide the occasional book review. Thanks, Carmel!
The Advent Book Blog Team