Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I know what you said about me yesterday

I sometimes do work in the non-profit world, and I borrowed this trick from a blog I read there. I’ve been itching to try it out in this area. This is the question I pose: what if there was a way to better understand the elusive power of “word of mouth” in selling books? What if publicists and marketers could eavesdrop on conversations between readers and recommenders, and even know which recommenders carry more weight than others? Technorati ( provides essential insight into this process on the web by allowing (among many other things) users to set up automatic alerts for any search terms mentioned in the 105.8 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media they currently track. It is so easy, it’s almost cheating.

My bet is that most publicists and marketing folks are not currently tracking who says what on their titles on blogs, therefore not using the blog medium to the best advantage. But I could be wrong. As a test, I’ve picked the three titles below, all on the Amazon Top 100 list and all published recently. For each publisher who emails me at in the next 24 hours to say they’ve found this blog, I’ll donate $10 to First Book.

Here are the titles:

Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides published by Picador

Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart by Ian Ayres, published by Bantam

Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World (Hardcover) by Bill Clinton, published by Knopf

Good luck!

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