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Books, Trend-spotting & the Gubernatorial Race
by: Penny C. Sansevieri
Ok I admit it. I'm a Californian. We live in shorts, we dine at juice bars and our politics are nothing short of, well, a Hollywood movie. If you've been shaking your head wondering how someone with a narrow political background could be elected to a state boasting on of the 10th largest economy in the world, join the club. That, my fellow savvy book promoters, is a campaign we could all learn from.

Schwarzenegger is a guy who, while being well-known in the movie world, is far less well-known in politics. During campaigning, he carefully avoided addressing issues Californians wanted to hear about. Nor did he ever stand on any one particular political platform. So, how did he win? He found a need and filled it. With recent indicators showing Californians leaving the Golden State at alarming numbers, we desperately needed a boost.

Schwarzenegger's media team saw a need and filled it with an action hero who vowed to "terminate" traditional politics. Whether you believe Arnold will be a good governor or not, you have to admit he ran one heck of an amazing campaign.

While most of us can't afford the pro team Arnold could, we can still effect changes in our book promotion campaigns that will turn the tide in our favor. It's called trend-spotting. Many people make their living trend-spotting, and you can do the same thing with a few clicks on the web. Take a look at http://buzz.yahoo.com/ or http://50.lycos.com/. You want to anticipate a need and fill it.

To stay ahead of the trends, our team at Authors Services spends considerable time brainstorming recent issues and how they'll affect various areas of our everyday life. These emerging trends are what we focus on as we prepare or launch a campaign.

If you're planning to write a book or preparing to work on your book promotion, take some time to study trends in your area of expertise. How will these trends look twelve or twenty-four months from now? How will that affect book sales down the road? For example:

Escapism: the new vacation. Many of us no longer have time for two week vacations. Instead, we're opting for one day outings and novels to give us that quick "out" when we need it. Does your book provide a mini-vacation for readers?

What do a down-sized engineer named Dilbert and a slightly built Keebler-elf sort of character by the name of Clay Aiken have in common? They're both chart-toppers. Many have called this the revenge of the nerds. How will this affect your next book?

Trend spotter Faith Popcorn recently said that time is becoming more valuable than money. People would rather spend money to have more time. The effect? More home delivered goods, and more consumer conveniences. How can your book address this trend?

And finally... We're hearing more about "Politainers" these days: entertainers turned politicians. Are they serious politicians or figureheads? How will this affect the future of politics? Planning a political novel? George Clooney for President!

If your topic doesn't have a trendy angle, create one. Figure out which part of the trend you can grab onto and do that. Again, find a need and fill it. Keep your subject matter, book or PR campaign topical, trendy, and hip. That's what we did with this story. After all, who would have thought book promotion and a governor's race would have had anything in common?

Happy trend-spotting!

Penny C. Sansevieri
The Cliffhanger was published in June of 2000. After a strategic marketing campaign it quickly climbed
the ranks at Amazon.com to the #1 best selling book in San Diego. Her most recent book: No More Rejections. Get Published Today! was released in July of 2002 to rave reviews. Penny is a book marketing and media relations specialist. She also coaches authors on projects, manuscripts and marketing plans and instructs a variety of coursing on publishing and promotion. To learn more about her books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at www.booksbypen.com. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: mailto:subscribe@booksbypen.com
Copyright  2004 Penny C. Sansevieri


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