David Gaughran writes that, "Word-of-mouth is the only thing that ever really sells books."
While a glowing review in the New York Times will undoubtedly shift some copies, if the limited amount of people that actually read the reviews (and then purchase the book), don’t then spread the word, the sales bump will be temporary.Read the rest here: Word-of-Mouth in Action
The 21st century world-weary reader is a hard person to reach. Our environment has become so saturated with advertisements that we tend to tune them out. Broadcasters need to resort to tricks like raising the volume levels of the ads to force us to pay attention.
We ignore ads because we don’t trust them. Exaggerated claims of the merits of one brand over another have been with us for so long that our automatic disposition seems to be skeptical towards the alleged virtues of any advertised product.
However, we still trust each other. If your neighbor tells you about a new detergent that actually does get wine stains out of a white shirt, or an insurance company that really will be there for you when things go wrong, that carries more weight than anything the cleverest advertising company can come up with.