“Getting everyone within the company talking about the book is the first step in building the buzz. The next step is spreading that excitement to the outside world. So to market Room, Little Brown knew the best way to overcome any discomfort with the concept was to get people to read the whole book. Fain, the marketing director, said the publisher sent out some 6,000 advance copies of the novel — for some smaller novels, that's the number of books that get printed to go out into the marketplace total.
"We really, really have tried to make sure that every bookseller, librarian, blogger, reviewer — anyone who might possibly be interested in this book and interested in talking about it, has a copy already," Fain said.
The next step was BookExpo, the annual industry convention, when booksellers from all over the country converge on New York, and publishers compete to win their attention. They woo booksellers with parties and events where authors turn out to mix and mingle. Sara Nelson, book editor at Oprah's O magazine, said winning over booksellers is crucial.
"Even though they may be a tiny bookstore and they may only buy 10 copies of the book they've just heard discussed lovingly by the publisher — they talk to each other about it, and they get a galley and they lend the galley out and so on," Nelson said. "That's sort of where it starts."
Read and hear more here about the power of word of mouth.