Grassroots Book Marketing: Lessons from Thriller Author Joseph Finder

By Kevin on April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Every business today is desperately trying to figure out marketing 2.0, in other words grassroots marketing, buzz marketing, viral marketing, etc. Too often I see spray and pray campaigns that encourage you to “Like” a facebook page or sign-up for a newsletter or to enter a contest with the remote possibility of winning something. So I was surprised to see a pretty cool viral campaign to promote Joseph Finder’s new thriller, Buried Secrets, that actually asks people to commit.

The first email in the campaign asked if you wanted to join “Heller’s Angels”, named after fictional “private spy,” Nick Heller.

Do you have what it takes to be a Heller’s Angel? We are recruiting an elite group of Joseph Finder “superfans” to help spread the word about my books and Nick Heller. Because nothing in the book business is more important than word of mouth.

And to express my appreciation, the Heller’s Angels will get all sorts of advance access and cool swag, including:

  • exclusive access to sneak preview material from the new book
  • a Heller’s Angels t-shirt
  • some Heller Associates Field Notes journals
  • 5 copies of VANISHED to give to your friends & family
  • early access to special content like videos and author interviews
  • inside information and updates from me
  • a video conference in June with me and fellow Angels

As Heller’s Angels, you’ll be offered missions to complete between now and the June 21 publication of BURIED SECRETS, so that you can be an essential part of the advance buzz for the new book.

Interested? E-mail mailto:[email protected] with the subject “Heller’s Angel.”

Now that’s some serious schwag, but notice that you have to complete “special missions” to get it. So of course I opted in, and get the 2nd email in the chain:

Thanks for writing! We’re so glad you want to be a Heller’s Angel. We’re sure you have what it takes.

Your first mission, should you choose to accept it, is to share the BURIED SECRETS book trailer somewhere online.

Find the trailer here:

You can embed the trailer on Facebook, share the link on Twitter, or post it to a blog or website anywhere on the web.

E-mail us back at [email protected] (put “I shared the trailer” in the subject field) with proof that you have completed this mission. Simply provide a link or a screen capture in your e-mail showing where you shared the video.

Once we see that you have completed the introductory mission, we will send you information about how to enter the Heller’s Angel’s exclusive online community.

Once in, you’ll get information about how to claim your awesome Heller’s Angels t-shirt.

No spray and pray here. As a fan, you’ve got to go spread the link and prove it to them to get into the club and claim shirt. The video is below…now I can go claim my shirt. 🙂


Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. Get more success and tips from his newsletter at and check out keynote video clips. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers how to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams.

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