Alistair Duncan’s last book Close To Holmes is a companion for those Sherlock Holmes fans that visit London and want to retrace the steps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (ACD) and visit the places that featured in the Holmes stories and those that were dear to the author.
This sets the scene for what Facebook does best – bring together people with very specific interests to share information and images about their chosen subject. In this case it is Sherlock Holmes fans that have used Alistair’s book on a visit to London – Close to Holmes Photo Stories.
There are hundreds of thousands of groups on Facebook and those that seem to be enduring are those that have a reason for lots of additional content on a regular basis – keeping the group members coming back again and again . Alistair’s is an excellent example of that – the key element of the group is the photos from the Holmes fans as they visit the various locations around London – including The British Museum, Covent Garden, Norwood, Croydon and dozens more.
In June this year another book Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and Devon: A Complete Tour Guide & Companion will cover ACD’s time in Devon and showing the changing times will include all the GPS locations for all of the sites so that the intrepid fans armed with their iPhones (and no doubt iPads by then) and other GPS enabled devices will be able to effortlessly travel around without the need to print maps.
No doubt author Paul R Spiring will create a similar group on Facebook. Both authors have excellent blogs to support their online activities – in fact, Paul’s BFROnline is one of the most visited Holmes and ACD blogs in the world despite being originally set up to chart ACD’s close friend Bertram Fletcher Robinson‘s (BFR) short but stunning life.
So the new world for authors, where they themselves are becoming brands also means learning a whole new series of marketing tools that didn’t exist a few years ago. So set up your Facebook group and drive traffic to it from your Blog and Tweets and reflect back to the day when marketing as a publisher meant faxes and promo sheets in the post to the dozens of bookstore chains (RIP Borders, only Waterstones and the independents left now).