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Monday, November 2, 2009

GOING VIRAL by Robin Burcell


Robin Burcell, an FBI-trained forensic artist, has worked in law enforcement for over two decades as a police officer, detective and hostage negotiator. Her thriller about an FBI forensic artist, Face of a Killer, debuted November 2008 with a starred review from Library Journal. The Bone Chamber is the sequel, due out in December. She is the two-time Anthony Award-winning author of four previous novels featuring SFPD Homicide Inspector Kate Gillespie: Every Move She Makes, Fatal Truth, Deadly Legacy and Cold Case. You can visit her website at:
www.robinburcell.com/





GOING VIRAL by Robin Burcell

And no, I’m not talking about the latest flu vaccine. I’m talking about my new book trailer video for THE BONE CHAMBER that appears on the face page of my website. I happen to think it’s a great book trailer and I am wondering if it is possible to make a video go viral on word of mouth alone.

I thought about trying the Microsoft-is-gonna-make-you-a-millionaire approach. You’ve probably seen it in an old e-mail, the one that tells you that every person you send this link to, and so on and so on, Microsoft will send you a buck. If people believe that and send an e-mail out a gazillion times, causing it to go viral, why not my video?

Hmmm… I’m thinking that the mystery-reading world is much more savvy than that.

Okay, what about Plan B? What if I use part of the plot from my book in hopes it will generate some interest in a takeoff of the old 419 Nigerian scam?

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to you from Italy to let you know that I have recently found the sum of US 35.4 million dollars buried in a bone chamber in Naples. The money is in trust for the heirs of Prince Raimondo di Sangro, who was deposed by the last band of pirates masquerading as Templar Knights who attempted to wrest the darkest secrets from the Vatican. Due to civil unrest and the deterioration of the bone chamber, the money must be deposited in a safe account. If you consent, my firm will be willing to pay you half the funds in payment for the use of your account to hold said funds until it can be returned to di Sangro’s heirs when they are located.

Please view THE BONE CHAMBER video so that you can determine that what I am saying about the pirates who attempted to wrest secrets from the Vatican is true. After you view the link, please pass it to two or more people then forward to me your bank account numbers so that I can deposit the money into your account for safekeeping.

Sincerely,
Mr. Carlo Adami
Crime boss… er, make that Solicitor to heirs of di Sangro

Unfortunately if my e-mail does go viral, I might actually get someone who forwards their bank account numbers, when what I really want is for them to go out and buy the darned book… Plan C is clearly needed…

Wait. I’ve got it… You know that spam you get, the sort that advertises careers via e-mails? Become a nurse! Become a cop! How about this one:

BECOME A SPY. You too can become a spy for a top secret covert government organization. Work for ATLAS from your home and earn top dollars. Simply view THE BONE CHAMBER video and learn how you can serve your government and save the world without ever leaving the safety of your own home!

So what do you think? Any chance of these going viral? Any better ideas? What is your favorite spam and how could you possibly link it to THE BONE CHAMBER video ??? Come up with something good (or even bad for that matter. This is all about fun) and your name (be sure you include your email address!!!!) will be entered into a drawing for a free ARC of THE BONE CHAMBER (which comes out this December). You could try sending the link to two of your friends, and telling them to send a link to two of their friends to see if Bill Gates really does send money, but I think your odds of winning a book in a drawing by simply making a comment here are much better.



35 comments:

Kate Gallison said...

Good trailer. Don't know how to spread it around. I'm beginning to fear that our trailers are like poems; more people want to make them than see them. Let me know if you find the secret.

Robin Burcell said...

Sigh... I think you're right, Kate. But there's always that chance! Dream big, right?

B.G. Ritts said...

Bad idea:
On YouTube, post with comments about all the baby animals that were harmed during the making...

oldbeeg[asperand]aol[stop]com

Robin Burcell said...

Dang, B.G. That is bad. If there was a prize for the worst, I think that would take the cake!

Anonymous said...

I think that your trailer is very good. It is exciting & makes the viewer want to know more - so you should get extra sales. I laughed at your blog & love the fact that you can dream BIG!!

Helen Kiker
hdkiker@comcast.net

Marlyn said...

Hi, Robin. Maybe you could try the old shampoo commercial idea of telling two friends, who each tell two friends, and so on...

Jen Forbus said...

Well Robin, I personally HATE the spam mail...especially the ones from the AARP - I mean come on! Give me a chance to be young before you sign me up for senior discounts! HA! Or the one from the bank that says, "your account has been frozen." Oh yeah, I don't have an account at that bank. Maybe you could say that watching the video would improve, well...you know. They must get some kind of response from those spam mails because I get them ALL THE TIME! Obviously they've seen my date calendar recently!

Really, though, I'll post your trailer over at my blog because I really do enjoy it and am more than happy to pass the enjoyment along!

Good luck!! I can't wait for the return of Sydney!

N. J. Lindquist said...

People seem to love dissension these days. Maybe post complaints all over the place about how the people who made the trailer didn't even read the book and the trailer has nothing whatsoever to do with the book, and so forth. And get them to say the trailer is better than the book, and so forth... And mention Jon and Kate a few times...

carl brookins said...

Cute, verrrrrrry cute, Robin. You and your books have come a long way since that session at the bar in Omaha. Oh, was I not supposed to mention that?

Will you send me a buck if I say i really like your......
trailer?

Alwyn L'hoir said...

view the video the government doesn't wan't you to see. quick, before all the copies are erased. Back it up to a mirror site, and pass it to your friends!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great book trailer! I think they are great. Be sure it's up on your website too.

Just keep letting people know, put it on Facebook and Twitter.

Robin Burcell said...

Thanks for the good laughs this morning, everyone! And don't forget to leave an e-mail if you want to be entered in the book giveaway.

I'm liking these ideas. Keep them coming!

shirley said...

Fun Trailer, good blog. I like the spy idea myself.

BPL Ref said...

Might I suggest a cute corgi or kitty pic might help her message go viral? Would Harley Barley be interested? Melon is always interested in attention. If I could just find Knights Templar outfit for Mel, we'd be set. Harley could have a bone.

Cute animal pictures get passed around like crazy and forever. I'm certain some of the creatures in the photos I got today have long since passed from old age: I remember some of these pictures from the 90s.

Jeanne

Robin Burcell said...

I have a really cute boxer at home. She has the greatest puppy eyes that allow us to overlook the fact that she is completely useless. Stranger at the door? Who cares? (definitely not her!) Her name is Pepper, but she is more like Custard the Dragon, hiding in her nice safe cage. Maybe this is her real calling? Bringing attention to a video...

BPL Ref said...

There you go! Do cute comments in the "icanhascheezburger.com" style with puppy photos that might entice people to click on video to see what puppy is talking about. Nothin' like critters and cute captions to be sure that a message will make the rounds! I should know, I have an inbox full of them....

Gwen Coooper, author of Homer's Odyssey, is encouraging people to post Homer's photo with captions at the cheezburger site to publicize the book.

Or... oh, I've got it!! Tie it in with 2012, the Mayan prophecies! That is heating up in the conspiracy/doomsday sphere!

Jeanne
who forgot to leave an email address before
bplref at yahoo period com

Mary Welk said...

Well, I'd advertise it this way:

SALE! SALE! SALE! TAKE 75% OFF THE PRICE OF THIS VIDEO, THEN GET AN INSTANT 25% REBATE FOR A TOTAL COST TO YOU OF $0.00!!!!!! DO YOUR FRIENDS CALL YOU STINGY?? WELL, PROVE THEM RIGHT!!! GIVE A GIFT OF THE EXCLUSIVE BONE CHAMBER VIDEO TRAILER AT NO COST TO YOU!!! NEED A CHEAP BIRTHDAY PRESENT?? LOOKING FOR A UNIQUE HOLIDAY GIFT?? YOUR FRIENDS WILL THANK YOU WHEN YOU SEND THEM THE BONE CHAMBER TRAILER!! LIBRARY JOURNAL CALLED THIS VIDEO "TWO MINUTES OF PLEASURE IN LIVING COLOR"!!! DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS ONCE IN A LIFE TIME CHANCE!! GET THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE PERFECT PERSON, AND GET IT FREE, FREE, FREE!!

Okay. That's enough idiocy for one night. :) Good luck, Robin!

Mary
kleworks@aol.com

Patty said...

Our library has started linking book trailers to our "new at the library" book blog. Might try encouraging more libraries to practice this method of advertising!

bookswomansd at gmail dot com

Morgan Mandel said...

Mention it's controversial.

Morgan Mandel
e-mail: morgan@morganmandel.com

Robin Burcell said...

You guys are too fun! Mary, I had to laugh. Gonna have to check out the library connect. Good idea! And good idea on making it controversial. I heard Dan Brown's first hit became one quite simply because the pope denounced it. Any chance of getting anyone famous to denounce my book on national TV??? hmmm..... in the meantime, I've got to check out icanhascheezburger.com

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What a great trailer idea! I get a lot of those emails...sigh!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Vicki Lane said...

Great post! And what a great book cover! I personally love the Nigerian spam letter ... couldn't possibly top that one.

Annette Blair said...

Excellent trailer. Outstanding. And you're smart to think big. Why wouldn't it go viral? It's incredibly intriguing. May it travel the world on a never ending loop.

Annette, a cozy mystery writer

jnantz said...

You could try something like what THE DARK KNIGHT people did. They had the first (of what would eventually be over 40 sites) web address written on "joker" cards. They snuck into comic book stores all around the west coast and dropped the cards between different magazines. When people found the cards, they went to www.ibelieveinharveydenttoo.com, and started a series of interactive games set up by the joker that went on periodically for months. If my first novel ever made it (it won't, because it's my first, but still), I was going to do something similar with slips of paper and newsprint of the web address on them (the newsprint on white paper is the way the contract killer "signs" his kills in the book).

The key is not just to get them there, but to give them something interactive so they then tell their friends to go check it out 'cause it's so cool. That's about the only way to get something to go viral.

Good luck! Oh, and if my book ever DOES get a nibble, be sure to rush home and visit the web site on that weird slip of paper you found at the book store....

Anonymous said...

Great trailer and a host of ideas. I personally think you should put your Boxer to work. Let's face it dogs and cats sell.

Laughing at this fun blog.

Good luck with the book

The other Pat (Marinelli)

Robin Burcell said...

So clearly we're on board with the photo of my boxer. Perhaps her photo on slips of paper tucked into the megabestseller books at various stores... ohhh

Robin Burcell said...

I was at costco today, and was half-tempted to slip bookmarks into all the books they have for sale... (insert evil laugh.)

Ann Littlewood said...

OK, Robin, here you go. This is a Proven Winner, judging by my spam folder:

Men!! Read this!! Now YOU can use the Lost Secrets of The Ancients for YOURSELF! Learn how to please her FOR HOURS! DON'T be laughed at ANY MORE! Get her what she WANTS and NEEDS. Buy THE BONE CHAMBER and the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE will ADORE YOU.

Robin Burcell said...

Ann, ROTFLMAO!!! That takes care of half the population! Too good!

jnantz said...

Nope, that won't do at all. Speaking for myself and pretty much every man I know, I just delete that stuff as soon as I see it.

"Why?" you ask.

Because my ego is far too busy going, "LALALALALANOTHINGISWRONGWITHMELALALA" to open an email proposing that I need HELP (?!?!?) in any way in that department.

Sorry, there goes that idea...

Robin Burcell said...

Well, dang. And here I thought this was the brilliant answer! Back to the drawing board...

molly Weston said...

Great trailer. If I'd had some popcorn I'd have felt I was in the movie theater! Good luck!

Robin Burcell said...

I drew a winner... Patty Andersen.

But if any of you think of any other great ideas, do post them! Much fun! I'll be checking back, just in case!!!

Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments!

Patty said...

And, boy, was I surprised!

Kaye Barley said...

This has been HUGE fun!
thanks everyone!
A round of applause for Robin (who will be visiting again in February), and congratulations to Patty!