A Book With A View
A bar of soap that zaps fat, puppies that don’t grow up, and a bug DNA kit. It’s not everyday in a book-marketing veteran’s career that he’s able to be as creative as Jeffrey Yamaguchi has been able to be during the recent marketing campaign for Michael Crichton’s latest best seller, “Next.”
While promoting “Next,” Yamaguchi—HarperCollins’ online marketing manager—and his marketing teammates created a fictional genetic research firm by the name of Nextgencode. They then developed fake products supposedly being sold by the company, including a revolutionary weight-loss soap, and supported these ventures with online video commercials that ran on mainstream sites, like YouTube, and drove interest in Crichton’s story.
Yamaguchi, who got his start in book publishing about eight years ago, is the author of “52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity” (published in 2005 by Penguin’s Perigee imprint) and a highly creative writer, blogger and Web site developer. It’s this well-rounded perspective on books that, he believes, lends itself to successful book-marketing strategies. The 36-year-old spoke with Book Business about some of the challenges today’s marketers face as well as the always-evolving opportunities presented by the Internet.
What would you say is the single most significant change you’ve seen in marketing books in your career thus far?
Jeffrey Yamaguchi: Definitely the Web. The Web is constantly evolving, and moving even faster now. New opportunities are opening up all the time. When I started out, the company I worked for was just building its Web site. Now, the Web is a huge part of the business as a whole.
What advice would you offer to other aspiring marketing executives in the publishing world?
Yamaguchi: My advice would be to really understand all facets of the business, from acquisition to editing to production to sales to bookselling to marketing, and to also get some perspective from the writer’s point of view. Having that full-picture view really helps bring whatever your specific effort is into focus, and it helps you be more effective at what you do.