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Friday, September 23, 2011

Hype: Help or Hinderance?

Next week, my most highly-anticipated book of the year will be released.  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.  The description sounds great, and the cover is even better.  You can't help but know this book is coming because its cover image is EVERYWHERE.  There are animated countdown widgets:

Fan-made Mara Monday banners.
I loved the cover-art so much, I even bought a phone cover from the same line of photographs.
So yeah, there's been some serious marketing clout behind this novel, both from the publisher and on a grass-roots level.  And certainly, the initial sales will probably spike following next week's release (I know I've already got it pre-ordered for my Kindle).

But what I wonder is, after the initial purchasing tsunami, will all the hype help or hurt the book?  And what I mean is, I've built this book up so much in my mind based on the hype and so-far glowing reviews, that if it doesn't absolutely blow me out of the water, I'll be disappointed.

And I know this has happened to me for other books: like how excited I was to get my hands on Meg Cabot's Abandoned and then only felt luke-warm about it.  I wonder if I would've felt differently about it -- and given it a better review -- if I wasn't so convinced going into the book that it was going to be simply amazing.

For now, I'm staying optimistic about Mara Dyer.  There's no going back for me.  But in the back of my mind, I'm still a little worried.  Will my opinion of the novel live up to the impossibly-high expectations that I've built for it?

Does this ever happen to you?  Do you think a book can receive too much hype?  Or is all publicity good publicity?


Indigo said...

I think publicity is great for a book. I also believe in following my own gut intincts on a book, instead of following the hype. If it's not something I believe I'll enjoy, all the hype in the world won't make a difference.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer has an interesting petense and you have to admit the cover is absolutely gorgeous. (Hugs)Indigo

Miranda Hardy said...

It will be interesting to read the reviews, that's for sure. Marketing is so important. You either do it well, or you don't. They are obviously doing it well.

Catherine Stine said...

Hi, Jessie, good topic. It happens all the time with movies too--the big buildup. I think the actual story will be the test. Either it sings or it wails, so to speak, and then word of mouth becomes the ad. You know?

khashway said...

Jessie, I love this topic. I do think there can be too much hype. Sometimes I get turned off by seeing the same thing all the time. You need hype, but there has to be a limit to it. You want to tempt people, not overwhelm them.

Brenna Braaten said...

I have certainly been there before. I think everyone has. I do try to reign in my expectations lest they are destroyed. But, you know, sometimes that doesn't work so well and you get disappointed anyway. It sucks, but it does happen.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jessie,

I never considered pre-marketing as something that could damage the reader’s opinion of the book, but now that I think about it, it very well can! With anything, when it’s hyped up, everyone has their own personal opinions of what is “excellent work.” And so, as a new writer, I would rather my novel get published first, and then because its “excellent,” then start to climb.

But you’re right, but cover art is incredibly beautiful and different. Very artsy and mysterious.

Write well,
Robin Quinn

Sarah Nicolas said...

I think if a lot of people even KNOW about a book, it helps it.

And I'm going to the launch for this book so I'm SO EXCITED :-D

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

This is something I've thought a lot about. While all the marketing and hype seems awesome, can it hurt? Possibly. I know I get burned out when I see too many previews for shows or movies, or too many reviews of the same book. It's not that I won't eventually watch or read it but it does make me a bit more reluctant to pick it up (I don't know why. Guess I'm just contrary!).

I also worry that there are too many ARC's out there. I mean, yes, you want books in the hands of bloggers who can then turn around and recommend it to others but it seemed like everyone and their dog got an early copy of Mara. Will these people also buy a finished copy? Does this hurt or help the author when ARC's are given away like Halloween candy? It makes me nervous for the author.

I do hope it helps. I know I'm excited about this book!

Ezmirelda said...

That's sort of what happened to me when I read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I was thinking it was going to be an extraodinary book. Like, stay-up-till-3-in-the-morning-becuase-you-can't-stop-reading good. But I think my expectations were a little too high. I think I would've liked the book a bit more if I didn't read the body finder right before it because I found so many similarites.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I think the publicity is good so people will know about the book, but not too soon before it's realease. You don't want readers to get tired of hearing about it for so long.

Great subject to think about.

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