Fact or Fiction? Content pulled from books.

Are you a careful reader? Do you pay attention to details in a novel to the point where you’ll research something to see if it’s real? Or perhaps a piece of music will be mentioned, and you’ll search for and listen to that piece to enhance your reading experience.

I remember while reading The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman, when Finch was half-listening to Vaughn Williams’s Tallis Fantasia, I had to play it in the background so I could half-listen to it, too. When my book club discussed The Son by Philipp Meyer, one of our members–a Texas transplant–brought a map for each book club member, plotted with every reference from the book. And even though Patchin Place was so skillfully described in The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer, I still had to look up a map of Greenwich Village to see for myself if it was real.

Perhaps you’ve seen the Jewish Literary Map of New York City from the Jewish Book Council. Or this Literary London Map from Run for the Hills. Or recently released, here’s a video from Knopf/Doubleday of designer and author Peter Mendelsund performing the Liszt piece featured in Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazski and His Years of Pilgrimage.

Sharing content like this on social media can work two ways. It can provide extra information for your customers already reading the book. Or it can provide an extra selling feature. Maybe a customer hadn’t thought of reading the Murakami before now, but since they are a fan of Liszt, they need to read it. Or the maps can serve as a reading checklist.

Content marketing is sharing useful information without the hard sell. It’s subtle handselling at its best.


Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay