Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Robot reporters may put your news
in strange places
In the past few weeks I sent out news releases on two of my books. I periodically do Google searches for unique phrases in my releases to see how the news is circulating. I don't merely search for the book titles because I don't want to see links from booksellers or my own sites.
I was greatly surprised to see some of the sites that are giving me free publicity. I don't know if this exposure will bring sales, but it's funny and free.
The release on I Only Flunk My Brightest Students: stories from school and real life was published on a website dealing with "Japan diaper news." I had no idea that there was a media specialty called Japan diaper news, and was mystified about my connection.
I studied my release and found the answer. I had quoted a reader who said that my book is so funny that readers should wear diapers and rubber pants because they'll pee in their pants.
Apparently the robot reporter employed by the Japanese diaper fanatics does a search to harvest every online reference to diapers, even if the overall news item is absolutely irrelevant.
News about my book Phone Systems & Phones for Small Business & Home was published on the USA Today website. But it was classified as "news from Cuba." Another website put it in "Cuban military news."
I've never met Fidel or Raoul, but the news release mentioned technology that was used by the US Navy during the blockade of Cuba during the 1960s. That was sufficient reason for the robots to report the news.
Is any of this useful for book marketing?
You can construct a news release with lots of well chosen "key words" just as you would "optimize" a website to get noticed by the search engines.
If you implant the word "sex" 40 or 50 times into your book about aspirin alternatives, the Staten Island independence movement or Millard Filmore's mother, your news is sure to get noticed.