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Oh, It’s Tuesday: FASCINATE by Sally Hogshead [Book 21 of 2010]

Well, I haven’t done a non-fiction book in a while. And sorry guys, this is yet another marketing book. But I promise to talk about some non-marketing non-fiction before this challenge over. That all apologized, let’s open up FASCINATE by Sally Hogshead.

Why I Decided To Read It: Trish from “Creative Beasts” suggested it in a post that I read right around the time that I received my iPad. Serendipity.

What It’s About: It’s about fascinating products and people, which have a lot in common with each other even though one is inanimate and the other organic.

What Makes It Different: Most marketing books I’ve read talk about how to sell yourself or your product. This one talks about how to fascinate people. Basically instead of getting people to like you or your product, manipulating how they think about you and your product.

What I Loved: As promised the book was fascinating, longer than any other marketing book I’ve read thus far, but also more readable and hard to put down. I loved how Hoghead dissects the popularity of certain items and people. These anecdotes inspired me to really think about how to better market 32 CANDLES in the future. I also loved the book cover. What great colors. If I had to pick a marketing book based on its cover alone, I would choose this one.

What I Didn’t Like: Hogshead spends a ton of time on anecdotes. I enjoyed each and everyone of these, but I would have preferred that she use less of these and expand the last section which actually talked about applying fascination triggers to your product. I didn’t feel equipped to utilize many of the fascination triggers she discusses throughout the book. It’s kind of like reading Shakespeare without a professor to guide you through. You get that it’s good, but you can’t thoroughly analyze and apply it to your own writing without more guidance.

Writing Marketing Lessons Learned:

Make yourself googleable: This has been bothering me for a while. It annoys me when I’m about to have a meeting with someone and I go to look her up on Google and can’t really find anything out, because her names is so very common. It’s actually a turnoff for me, and Hogshead agrees that if you have a name like Paul Smith, you should find a way to stand out, by either changing your name or simply adding on a middle name which you always use. Or if you want to take a note from Jeffrey Jacob Abrams, you can simply use your first two initials — that suggestion wasn’t in the book, but I’ve noticed that quite a few people have used this method to set themselves apart.

Get people talking about your product instead of talking about it yourself. I find this concept very intriguing, because I don’t like talking about 32 CANDLES as much as I enjoy hearing what others have to say about the book. I’m still trying to figure out how to fully utilize this piece of advice, but there’s no denying that it’s definitely worth taking I think.

Set specific goals. For example, instead of saying I want to make the NY Times bestsellers list, I should say I want to make the NY Times bestseller list by selling 5,000 copies of 32 CANDLES in the first week. BTW, I really want to do that, so if you’re planning to buy 32 CANDLES after its release date (as opposed to pre-ordering it), please buy it during the first week of sales, as that will help us reach our specific goal. Nice, right!

To Whom Would I Recommend This Book: History Buffs, People Who Like Commercials, People Who Watch Mad Men, Anyone Who Has Something To Sell

Click on the cover pic to buy the book!