Thursday, August 23, 2007

Can a Celebrity Boost Your Book Sales?

The book world is buzzing about how a photo of Victoria Beckham clutching a copy of Skinny Bitch helped send the diet book to the bestsellers list. Last night's "Inside Edition" did a segment on how celebrities including Beckham, Madonna and Matthew McConaughey have helped boost book sales when they've been photographed carrying or reading a book.

That got me thinking about whether you authors are wondering right now how you could get a celebrity on your book buzz team.

It's harder than it looks for those of us without a lot of Hollywood connections. It's not just a matter of tracking down the celeb's agent and sending a copy of the book for the agent to pass along -- although I'd give that a shot if your book is something you think the star would actually want to read. And who do you know who can get close enough to Mr. or Ms. Famous to jam a book into the star's hand just as a People photog is about to snap a pic?

It has to happen either more organically -- the celeb reads about your book in her favorite magazine or hears you interviewed on the radio -- or you get the book into the hands of someone in the star's food chain. That could be a stylist, an assistant, a not-so-famous friend. If that person reads and likes your book, she'll recommend it to her friends and colleagues - including the celebrity. If you're lucky enough to have that happen, you have to get even luckier so that the celeb is photographed with the book.

Sure, there are probably West Coast people who can try to make this happen for you -- for a fee. Can you afford that?

Your best bet is to focus on generating widespread exposure for your novel or nonfiction book, praying for a little serendipity, and responding quickly and proactively if you're lucky and the paparazzi are in the right place at the right time.

Has a really and truly famous person been photographed holding your book? Tell us your story by commenting here!

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