This is a guest post by Julie A. Novak, author of the blog Moving Target Media.
I just finished reading Mindy Kaling’s first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I had been looking forward to reading it, anxiously awaiting my turn in the library wait list. I like to read a book before I decide whether to add it to my permanent collection. Kaling’s book made the cut, if only for the back cover photo. It never gets old. But more on that in a minute.
Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer and actress on NBC’s The Office. She is young, hip and humorous. Her comedy is self-deprecating and observant. It’s not a hard sell, really. Yet Kaling eagerly approached her book launch with smart strategy, combining social media, signings and TV appearances to create anticipation. It lived up to the humor she promised and I could have broken my library admissions rule without regret.
Here’s what she did best, and why it worked:
- She plays to her crowd. Kaling knows her audience and what makes them tick. She observes others for creative material and shares her comedic insights about current events, fashion and behind-the-scenes moments from The Office. Her content is fresh, updated frequently and interesting. Perhaps most importantly, she regularly responds to fans, giving them a personalized, interactive experience on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.
- She stays true to her personality. If you’ve ever watched The Office, you know Kaling’s funny. But she consistently leverages her unique voice and perspective across platforms in different ways. Fans identify with Kaling because she lets her true colors show on air and online.
- She is not afraid to laugh at herself. This is where that back cover photo comes in. It’s both a lovely and horrible reminder of the horrifying experience of childhood and adolescence. It works for Kaling. But I don’t think my dorked out seventh grade photo – braces, adolescent chub and poofy bangs included – would have the same effect on increasing the readership of my blog. You be the judge.