From my perspective, Gary Vaynerchuk—the boy from Belarus who grew his family’s liquor store in New Jersey into a multimillion-dollar business, and who is now teaching others to use customer service (especially via social media) to grow their businesses—has set a new standard for all authors supporting their books.
I’m piecing together a write-up of his efforts—and maybe a college course—but check out GaryVaynerchuk.com and his Twitter account to see how he spent several months engaging his audience and building anticipation for the October 2009 release of his book, Crush It!, which as Gary announced should hit #2 this Sunday in The New York Times.
For an example of Gary’s promotional efforts, consider his “experience” bundles, offered through his site: http://crushitbook.com/crush-it-the-experience/. If you buy 35, you get a personalized video; if you buy 150, you get an hour on Skype; and so on. This sets an expectation for bulk sales—which I think motivates single-copy sales—and demonstrates the way premium/ancillary offerings will help authors sell books in a world in which content is expected to be (nearly) free. [Authors: What experiences or ancillary offerings can you share?]
In line with his belief in contact and word-of-mouth promotions, Gary hosted a launch party last night at The Bell House in Brooklyn—very cool bar and performance space—exposed brick and rafters, cement floor, set in a warehouse. Gary went through the crowd, thanking everyone.
On stage, Gary said he sees himself benefiting from the “thank-you economy,” in which the people who have received his free videos and advice are purchasing his book out of gratitude. He said that his success comes from actually caring about his audience—by giving, he is getting. [Authors: How can you give to, care for, and support your audience?]
He showed a video preview of the “vook” edition of his book. The vook combines text, animation, music, voiceovers, and still photos. Then, with help from the crowd and verification from the yellow-blazered judges from the Universal Record Database—Gary set the universal record for most glasses clinked in one minute! Closing out the night, Clabo performed the “Crush It!” rap for charity—each $.99 download will feed six in Haiti. See below.
Let me round out this post—a sort of long thank-you to Gary, actually—by embedding two other videos: His powerful presentation at MediaBistro’s Circus in August 2009, and his adventurous Wine Library tasting of the best pairings for breakfast cereal.
[[Update: Sorry, the MediaBistro video went off-line. Definitely check out Gary’s keynotes.]]
See the full-sized version here: http://tv.winelibrary.com/2009/09/08/what-wine-pairs-with-cereal-episode-734/