I have often heard professionals in the publishing industry say that word of mouth publicity is often worth more than any other kind you could pay for. I used to be skeptical about that because I have a rather small social circle. Plus, in comparison to the number of sales we'd all like to have (*laugh*) the amount of people you could reach by word of mouth seemed pitifully small.
However, the last few weeks have shown me just how powerful word of mouth could potentially be . . . albeit on a very, very small scale.
In my church group we have a class for women above eighteen and as we open the meeting we have the "Good News Minute." Several weeks ago I announced that I had finished the final draft of my new book. I had an older lady (about seventy) come up to me and ask how she could get a hold of my book to read it. I told her that it wasn't anywhere near published, but that she could read my copy if she wanted to. So I brought it to her the next week.
The week after that she told me how much she'd enjoyed the book and that she'd passed it on to one of the other ladies and was that okay? I was fine with that. So then a man in our church group (I have no idea how he found out) told me his wife wanted to read it and could she be on the waiting list? On top of that, the mother of one of my beta readers confessed that she hadn't let her daughter take her copy back until she'd read it too.
Now, bear in mind, I didn't tell anyone what this book was about or anything. After the initial request from the elderly woman, everyone has heard reviews from someone other than me. Four people may not seem like very much, but it has been only in the last few weeks, with people I only see once a week, and with absolutely no effort on my part. If I was actually trying to promote my book, I imagine the results would increase exponentially. And if there was publicity running alongside it, I can see how it really would be very effective.
And, of course, the modern word of mouth is word of blog.:) So I guess I'm doing some of that too.:)