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!
Crazy Book Marketing Idea of the Month
This month: I'll take Crazy Book Marketing for a thousand, Alex...Jack DuArte is not used to failure. When the successful business owner of Napa Valley wineries and Kentucky racehorses got into the book business, he was in for a surprise – and a lot of frustration.
“The marketing tactics I’ve used with great success in other businesses just don’t work in the book business,” he says. “If you’re not exceedingly lucky enough to get someone interested in your book that has some national clout, you’re screwed.”
The 65-year-old New Orleans native and decorated Vietnam veteran now lives in Central Kentucky where he breeds thoroughbreds and writes historical military novels. He’s had a long and varied career in writing, including a ten-year stint as a columnist at the New Orleans Times Picayune. Ironically, getting snubbed by newspaper book review sections as a self-publisher is one of his biggest frustrations.
“It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to do in my life,” he says, recalling how it took two calls a day for two weeks to finally speak to his local book review editor. He finally convinced the editor to do a feature about him and his book – although it took five months to appear. “They really have a bias toward self-publishers. They reject an entire class of books without reading a page.”
DuArte has had better luck with bookstores, in part due to his salesmanship skills. The word is out among Barnes & Noble stores that he always sells out the stock at a signing. He has a full schedule of signings throughout his region, helping keep the orders rolling in. But decent regional sales and well-attended booksignings aren’t enough, and DuArte knows it.
Jack DuArte wants to see his novel on the Silver Screen.
To that end, he has sent queries and books to everyone he’s ever met that has any influence in the entertainment industry. “You can never tell what might hit,” he says.
Well, his networking efforts have finally paid off: on Friday, March 9th, Duarte’s novel will make its onscreen debut, when The Resistance will be mentioned in an “answer” on “America’s favorite quiz show,” Jeopardy! It’s being mentioned in the highest dollar amount, $2000 “Double Jeopardy” answer, in fact.
Will it translate to book sales? Hard to tell. Will it catch the attention of a Hollywood movie mogul? One can only hope. Will it be cool to hear his book title spoken by Alex Trebec? Priceless!
The news had already had an impact, before the show even runs or the answer is chosen. Since the T.V. announcement, DuArte has had another encouraging “hit.”
“I had sent email queries to a huge number of agents, all who are supposedly 'looking for new talent,' and I got a handful of polite responses, all along the lines of ‘not exactly what we’re looking for at this time.’ Since the Jeopardy! announcement, I followed-up with those agents who responded with a note saying, ‘If my book is good enough to be in a Jeopardy! question, isn’t it worth another look?’ So far, I’ve heard from one agent who is now interested and does want to see both of my novels.”
The Resistance is DuArte’s first novel, and is his fifth published work. The plot line for The Resistance originated with DuArte at the age of sixteen, but did not reach novel form until 2000. Many aspects of The Resistance are drawn from historical facts -- a number of the characters actually existed -- and is part of DuArte’s intended World War II Trilogy. He recently completed number two in the trilogy Singapore!
Who knows what kind of “hits” this one might get…could he have a “Daily Double” on his hands?
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By Jack DuArte
Jack DuArte is a native New Orleanian and a decorated Vietnam War Veteran. He and his wife Susan reside in Lexington.
About the book:
The Resistance is set in England and France during the early part of WWII. The newly appointed head of the French Resistance, Jean Moulin, is sent to England for a series of intelligence briefings. During one particular briefing, a former curator of the Polish national museum in Crackow describes the rape and plunder of his museum and other similar museums by the Nazis. His story touches Jean Moulin who devises a scheme to insure the same thing does not happen in France.
Through the British Special Operations Executive-F (SOE, forerunner of today’s British Intelligence), a plan is devised to have copies of the three greatest masterpieces in the Louvre secretly substituted for the real paintings, which are being secretly hidden in an old castle in the Dordogne Region of France. An American Army Captain is selected for the mission and he operates a glider to bring the fake paintings into France. With the help of the French Resistance, the switch is made. Meanwhile the Germans, in the person of an SS Colonel working under the personal direction of Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring, sets about to find the paintings for the Reichsmarschall so that they can be sent back to Germany. The final dramatic scene is played out in the storied city of Lourdes, where a spirited gun battle finally decides the outcome of the novel.
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Links to previous Crazy Book Marketing articles: