Social Media Book Publicity Case Study – Jack Kilborn, author of AFRAID

Businesses and entrepreneurs of all types are trying to figure out how they can use social media marketing. Authors and writers have been using a variety of digital PR techniques for several years now, including: creating their own blogs, conducting blog tours (guest posting on other blogs to coincide with the publication a new book), recording podcasts, and filming or producing video book trailers.

Joe Konrath, successful mystery writer and author of the popular Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series (published under the name JA Konrath), recently conducted an extensive digital PR campaign for a new book AFRAID, a horror thriller that is being published by Grand Central Publishing under the pen name Jack Kilborn. Konrath and his publisher decided to publish AFRAID under a pen name because the tone of the book was much more intense and shocking than his Jack Daniels mystery series. To try and jumpstart sales and excitement for AFRAID, Konrath began a blog tour on March 1st – four weeks before the publication of AFRAID on March 31st – the last day of the month.

Each day in March, Joe either wrote guest posts or answered interviews questions from a variety of blogs. Currently, since March 1st, Joe has been featured on more than 200 blogs. And, each day, Joe would post the links to that days interviews or guest posts on his popular blog – A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. Prior to his blog tour, Joe posted on his blog and wrote of his plans in his email newsletter and asked for any interested blogs or podcasts to contact him for a guest post or interview.

Kilborn isn’t stopping with just digital PR though. In a few days, Kilborn will be leaving on a “signing tour.” He’s planning to visit more than 200 bookstores, winding up in Florida for the Romantic Times convention at the end of April. Kilborn won’t be conducting any formal book signings on this driving tour, he will be signing the copies of AFRAID that each store has in stock. However, Kilborn is using his digital connections for his book signing tour – he has issued a request via his website for fans to offer him a place to sleep each night while on his driving tour.

Results of Kilborn’s digital PR outreach for his new book AFRAID:

  • Before his blog tour, Googling “Jack Kilborn” received 2,880 hits. Following the tour, “Jack Kilborn” has 15,600 hits in Google.
  • Konrath’s blog averages 1,000 unique visitors a day, and he saw a slight increase in daily traffic during his March blog tour.
  • The Amazon ranking for AFRAID changed from 1,200,000 to 2,000.
  • AFRAID currently has 45 customer reviews on – much higher than most new mass-market paperbacks published by a first-time author.

Finally, I asked Kilborn about the future of digital book PR.

“I like blog tours. I think, ultimately, books and book tours will be digital. Your Kindle (or whatever the hot ereader is) will give tour updates, allowing readers to interact with authors while simultaneously downloading the book.

It’s going to be a fun future. :)”

Social media book publicity - Jack Kilborn, Afraid
Social media book publicity - Jack Kilborn, Afraid