Day 11 of Advent brings a piece on word of mouth.
It’s definitely true that word of mouth is the best way to gain fame and popularity – in whatever field. Any author who has enthusiastic readers has the best source of advertising and promotion money can(‘t) buy.
Image courtesy of b2bmarketingblog.co.uk
I see this all the time in the school library. Pupils bring back their books to me each week and wait eagerly for me to return their friends’ books so they can then take them out to read. I can hardly keep up with them. Typically it’s boys, working their way through our Tintin, Asterix and Lucky Luke collections, which have hardly seen any time on their shelf since half term. They know what each other is reading and then beg for the chance to be next in line to borrow the book.
With Years 3 and 4, the popular series seem to be Beast Quest (for boys) and Rainbow Magic (for girls). They automatically categorise themselves thus (the children) though I am heartened to see some girls venturing into Beast Quest. For Years 5 and 6, the reading is more eclectic, and tends to follow authors rather than series, the exception being Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series and Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl. David Walliams’ stories are popular with both boys and girls, as is Diary of a Wimpy Kid (admittedly a series). Girls are keen on Jacqueline Wilson too though I’ve had Opal Plumstead for a couple of weeks now and no one’s borrowed it yet, which has taken me by surprise. Michael Morpurgo enjoys a steady popularity.
It’s wonderful to see children excited about what books they have, what they want to read next and making others keen to share their interests too, especially in this time of electronic gadgets like iPhones, Smart Phones, etc. Today, at lunchtime, when it’s the turn for years 5 and 6 to visit the library, children grabbed a cushion and sat quietly and purposefully reading their books. There was an occasional, gentle murmur of conversation, of sharing what they were reading, and they truly were respecting the place they were in and what it was for.
The new books I had put out today – a set of all the Wimpy Kid diaries, and some new Where’s Wally? books – flew off the shelves immediately. I can’t put them out fast enough to keep up with demand. With depressing stories always hitting the news about how children don’t read or don’t like reading anymore, it’s a pleasure to be in a place where they do.