Monday, April 26, 2010


We recently returned from Istanbul, Turkey, where I experience the most brilliant marketing I have ever seen. We were walking from the metro to a tram and my daughter desperately needed to use a restroom. Lo and behold, in a small shopping area under a bridge was a large sign in English that said:

Nearly every tourist in the area went into the restroom, happily paying their one Turkish Lira (about 75 cents.)

Now the fact that it was the most unmodern bathroom in all of Istanbul, and my daughter was in tears because she couldn't go (whereby I swore off that toilet for the rest of our lives) is irrelevant...because they already had our money.

The relevance is: words. They knew EXACTLY what to put on that sign to bring everyone through the door.

And. It. Worked.

Now if only I could figure out the right words to turn my mg novel into a million dollar bathroom sign idea.


  1. I love that phrase "million dollar bathroom sign idea". I must admit that the titles of books always pull me in first, even more than the book covers, so I'm struggling to come up with a good title that will bring everyone in too.

  2. I'm a title person, too, but if the art feels way off from my quick evaluation of the title, the book goes back on the shelf. I've very happy I don't have to design book covers!

  3. Yes -- that's what I want too! Something that makes people pay for what I have. If it's a bathroom sign, I'll take it. :)

  4. Hi Deni, I came over from Elana's lovely blog. I thought your comment on her recent post The Great Myth was so true - authors need to play to their strengths!

    As for the bathroom marketing - gosh, how clever! They certainly knew what to say. And you'll get there with your novel, you'll find the right words I am sure. :)