I’m always on the lookout for new ideas on writing and reading, and here’s an interesting one: The Underground Book Club. That’s Underground as in London subway. In an interview in What’s New in Publishing, the co-founder, Andy Brown described it this way:
It’s a book club for commuters and travellers using London Underground. It’s free to join and passengers can read the first three chapters of a number of top book titles for free. The idea, of course, is that rather than read the same old gloomy headlines in the papers they can read the introductory chapters of some really good books whilst travelling to and from work. Publishers also benefit because their books get trialled by new readers and then hopefully bought from Waterstones, Amazon and the like, or downloaded via our iPhone and iPad app.The Underground Book Club is a new, powerful distribution channel for publishers.
They hand out hard copies at the larger Underground stations during commuting hours, or you can download their app from iTunes, or go to their website, www.theundergroundbookclub.com and download from there.
Their first three books are by well-known writers but Brown says they’re also committed to introducing readers to new authors.
Their income derives from advertising and a small commission on the sale of the sampled books. It’s too early to say whether it will be successful but they’re projecting turnover of £700K in the first year, which sounds quite ambitious.
Does that give you an idea for how to bring your writing to the attention of your target audience? Here's how:
1 Identify your target audience
2 Figure out where to find them
3 Create a sample of your work and an interesting, different way to present it to them
4 Make it easy for them to buy the full product
What and how? That's where your creativity comes in. If you need guidance on how to generate ideas, my book, "Creativity Now!" will help. If you want some further inspiration, how about 100 case studies of inexpensive and creative ways people have marketed themselves and their products, along with tips on how to apply their methods? You'll find those in "Do Something Different," published by Virgin Books (with an introduction by Richard Branson). Both are available from Amazon or your other favorite bookseller.