Tell Us About Your Crazy Book Marketing Ideas

Each month this column will feature another wild, crazy, untried book marketing technique that catches our attention - please, no explosives or poisonous snakes -- and we will chronicle it here. Go crazy!

Click here to tell us about your latest crazy marketing idea.


A premier publishing services firm Printellectual Printellectual

Crazy Book Marketing Idea of the Month

How #@%$ Far Will the Indie Author or Publisher Go? This month: THE NEW BOOKMOBILE?

While planning his sixty-date book signing tour to promote South Beach Shakedown, his third-in-a-series mystery featuring rock and roll journalist Mick Sever, author Don Bruns looked for some way to make the most of the time spent traveling from store to store. Bruns, an advertising executive, decided to create his own mobile billboard and turned his vehicle into a rolling advertisement for the book.

Bruns contracted with Sign Pro Imaging in his hometown of Lima, Ohio to customize his 1998 Mercury van. Using a digital solvent printing process, Sign Pro Imaging used the cover art to create a vehicle wrap which was printed on a 3M adhesive vinyl. A representative from Sign Pro noted that the process also involved a heat-gun, exacto knife and a great deal of time and patience. The result is the South Beach Shakedown van -– covered bumper to bumper in the book’s cover image.

According to Bruns, “I’ll be attending over 60 book signings in the next 6 months and there is a whole lot of downtime when you’re traveling between bookstores. This is a way to make the most of that downtime.”

George Foster, who designed the book’s cover art, says he is thrilled to see his design on wheels: “It was a pleasant shock to see my design covering a mini-van, bumpers and all. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I would say this van is definitely worth a thousand miles.”

The South Beach Shakedown van will be headed to Madison, Wisconsin at the end of September for Bouchercon, a three-day mystery conference, and then will head to Miami for the Miami Book Show in November and then on an extensive tour of the Midwest. Bruns is also contemplating taking the van on the West Coast leg of his tour.

While Bruns says that the design should be easy to remove, he plans on keeping the South Beach Shakedown van as-is –- at least until his next book comes out.

“The reaction has been great. The van definitely gets noticed and people want to know the story behind it and what the book is about. In Port Clinton, Ohio, an older gentleman and his wife stood back and studied the van for about three minutes while I filled up the tank. Finally, he turned to his wife and said, ‘At our age, you think we would’ve seen pretty near everything. Well, now we have.’”

Honk if you see this rockin’ Van!

* * * * *

South Beach Shakedown: The Diary of Gideon Pike (Oceanview Publishing, ISBN: 1-933515-02-3) is available in better bookstores nationwide. Bookpage magazine says South Beach Shakedown “may be this season’s quintessential suspense read.” Don Bruns is an author, musician and advertising executive. South Beach Shakedown is the third book in the series featuring rock and roll journalist Mick Sever. Oceanview Publishing is an independent book publisher headquartered in Massachusetts.

For additional information about Don Bruns, please visit