Word-of-mouth is alive and well, by Michele Weber Hurwitz
This month, we're sharing our thoughts about happy surprises we experience as authors. What popped into my mind as I pondered this topic was that despite spending tons of time on social media, young readers still verbally recommend books to each other. No matter how much promotion authors do online, I believe the best way for a book to gain an audience is for one reader to tell another: "You have to read this!"
I recently received an email from Selene, 12. Here's an excerpt:
"So I don't like to read but my friend told me I should read this book so I went to the library and checked it out. It was amazing! This makes me want to read more books. All I want to say is thank you for writing this book. By the way it was published on my birthday!"
Two heartwarming and happy surprises in this note: 1) that she didn't like to read, but after reading my book, it made her want to read more books, and 2) her friend recommended it to her. Yay! To me, that's the ultimate stamp of approval.
Once upon a time when I visited schools in person, I was always thrilled to see some type of personal reader recommendation program such as book trees where kids wrote mini reviews, a favorite book swap event, or a bulletin board where students listed their top reads.
I'm willing to bet that recently, you heard about a book from a friend, or told a friend about a book you loved, insisting he or she read it.
Even as technologically connected as we all are, I hope that word-of-mouth book recommendations never go away. Nothing can replace a book passed from friend to friend with a personal rave review.
Michele Weber Hurwitz is the author of five middle grade novels, from Random House and Simon & Schuster. Visit her at micheleweberhurwitz.com.