Interview with Alex Brown Author Great and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy - Part 2

07/22/2011

Part 2 of my interview with Alex Brown explores how he incorporated social media to create awareness for his book, the Barbao community, horse slaughter and Laminitis the disease that killed Barbaro. (Part 1 tells the back-story of why Alex wrote the book and how he created an engaged community of thousands.) 

Alex Brown_book jacket Greatness and Goodness Barbaro and his Legacy Diva Marketing/Toby:  Let’s talk about the book, which by the way, I loved! Greatness and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy may be an extension of the digital world that Fans of Barbaro built, however, it is still an entity on to itself. 

How is your approach towards marketing/creating awareness different with the book versus the site?

Alex Brown: This is something I am learning as I am going along.  With the book I had an initial advantage, I already had a large community.  Many of those within the community were waiting to buy the book as it was launched. And I added a facebook fan page for the book to keep people updated with its progress.

I also created an extensive schedule for book signings, visiting many racetracks and timing the launch around the excitement of this year's Triple Crown.  So there was a traditional component to the marketing campaign.  This year marks the five year anniversary since Barbaro's great win, so that timing helped also. 

I was able to get some pretty good media exposure.  I also had a few reviews of the book done, which helped.  Each time there was a review, or article about the book, or a book signing event to talk about, I would update the facebook fan page, my own profile page, the main AlexBrownRacing.com site and so forth. I was busy, getting good coverage, and also able to use the social media tools to make it all look busy and successful. 

The major downside is I self published (great advantages to doing that) which means I really don't have access to the major retail stores. The book is on Amazon, we recently eclipsed 500 sales on Amazon.  Alex Brown_book signing Barbaro

Diva Marketing/Toby:  In terms of general marketing, and of course social media, what tactics/tools are giving you the biggest impact for time you invest?

Alex Brown: I don't think there is one tactic which has proven most successful.  The key has been to keep the community constantly updated with progress with the book, keep the interest front and center.  Going quiet about the book would potentially be fatal. 

Diva Marketing/Toby: Let’s talk the “C” words .. content creation. Are you leveraging the content from the book, social platforms, and even online media, to support the book promotion (and feed your social networks)? If so how?

Alex Brown: I have a book excerpt that I have made available on the internet. I think that has helped.  I have promoted its availability through the many channels I use.  As I noted earlier, anytime there is a review, or feedback on the book, I push that out through the channels.

It is funny though, as hard as I try, and as deliberate as I am about push all the content back out, there are many in the community who do not see the content. I guess it is like traditional marketing, your customer has to see something multiple times before it truly registers. 

I am also exploring e-version ideas for the book, and hoping they help cross-sell the hard cover book.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Your own story is fascinating and inspirational. The digital platforms you created, as well as your book, have turned into catalysts for several “for the greater good” purposes: the legacy of Barbaro, dreaded Laminitis disease and education about horse slaughter. 

What extent did the internet and social media play .. wondering if this could have been accomplished without a digital presence?

Alex Brown: Its role has been fundamental.  This could never have happened otherwise.  That's the short and long answer.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Alex, you get the last word .. wrap it up any way you’d like my friend.

Alex Brown: Thanks for all your support. I cannot remember how long ago it was when you started speaking to my class at Udel (over the internet), it would be fun to revisit what we talked about then. 

The fascinating aspect of social media it is keeps evolving and improving.  Now I have to figure out this Google+ thingy!

Continue the Conversation with Alex!

Even if you are not a horseman (or horsediva) Great and Goodness Barbaro and Legacy is an inspirational from the heart read.

Great and Goodness Barbaro and His Legacy

Alexbrownracing.com

@Alexbrownracing

Disclaimer: I recevied a complementary copy of Greatness and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy. There are no affinity links in this post.

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Comments

Great blog post about Alex Brown Really interesting

Posted by: Jonathan on Jul 22, 2011 10:09:10 AM

Thank you for posting this very nice interview. I agree, people need to see the goodness of something multiple time before it registers and this interview just pushes that goodness into every readers. Another great item from our great Diva. Bravo!

Posted by: Robert Manuel on Jul 22, 2011 2:44:49 PM

It's pretty good marketing, develop a cultlike following, then use them and the forumites to buy your book. I read the book. it was mildly interesting, but something that would end up on the remainder shelves with the infamous black stripe if not for the FOB cult. Great marketing, Alex!
cheers, Simon

Posted by: Simon on Jul 22, 2011 3:51:30 PM

Wow, lots to digest. Thanks for generously sharing this useful info. Especially appreciate the acknowledgment that for some businesses, the goal may not be tens of thousands of fans but a few hundred solid ones.

Posted by: Virtual Business Assistant on Jul 23, 2011 1:14:23 AM

Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview. It is so interesting to see the other side of Alex Brown. The few times I have met him, I really haven't spoken to him in depth about this wonderful book or what he has and is accomplishing for the Off Track Thoroughbreds and laminitis. As a new equine photographer, with a cause for the OTTB rescues, this was really helpful and a real treat!!

Posted by: Louise Ferro Martin on Aug 2, 2011 11:32:42 PM

The book was a joy to read and the interview a delight. Thanks for your comments.

Louise - best of luck with your new career.

Posted by: Toby Bloomberg - @tobydiva on Aug 2, 2011 11:43:06 PM

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