You know how authors like to throw out book recommendations from the podium, leaving bookstore staff to nonchalantly scramble around in search of said titles to place them on display by the register before the event is finished, as if they were there the whole time?
I don’t know about the scrambling around part, but Lauren Wiser, marketing and publicity manager at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, MO, tells me they certainly were used to authors recommending a book they loved from the stage.
“We’d have customers coming up to us after the event to learn more about the book, and we realized that people are always interested to find out not only more about their favorite authors, but especially what their favorite authors are reading,” says Wiser.
So now the folks at Left Bank will actively seek out what a visiting author is recommending. And instead of waiting until they arrive at the store, they’re proactive at the time of booking. And it’s not just with the event attendees in mind, but with all of their customers and followers, that they create sharable content.
“So now, when we book events, we ask authors if they would mind doing a short video, usually about a minute long, recommending one of their favorite books,” says Wiser. “Almost all of them say ‘absolutely’, and the response has been really great so far!”
They started sharing the recommendation videos on their Youtube channel in March and have an Author Recommendations playlist, which I’ve included here. They also include the videos in their bi-weekly email newsletter and through Facebook and Twitter.
“It’s also a great way for people who can’t attend the event to get a chance to ‘meet’ the author in a way, by finding out what they like to read,” says Wiser.