Freeze your book and they will come

3 Feb


World Pond Hockey Championship
Good clean cold fun.

Combine your debut mystery novel with a troika of chilly pain – hockey, Michigan winters and newspapers – and the world that is morbidly curious about that combination will shovel a path to your virtual door.



And only a man’s man, one steeled to the whiff of an opened hockey equipment bag in August, would begin a book signing tour in a beer tent in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick in February. 
The warm confines of a Border’s Books and Music will not do (well, it will suffice for the March event), but finding a passionate following to share an idea means finding the core, the hub, the ultimate stinky nexus of used tape, broken sticks, and chatter of missed wrist shots clanging off crossbars.



While researching social media marketing I noticed the event list for Bryan Gruley’s new mystery novel Starvation Lake. The author will be at the World Pond Hockey Championship in New Brunswick, Canada on February 18.


Producing a conversation in the correct spot is about syncing with friends through a Facebook page and finding people who share your passion. Where there is a mystery of why people would go outside in February in New Brunswick, Canada there is a hardy group holding beer slushies that know exactly what you’re talking about.


The ability to target such a precise group is the advantage of social media.


For the sake of full disclosure, I have played hockey with Bryan.


The Detroit newspaper war produced a spike in hostilities in the 1980s with the Lafayette Cup series. Rival newspapers – The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press – took out their frustrations on each other in a series of hockey games that saw managing editors throwing punches and writers and editors slashing and swearing in ungrammatical chunks.


The Detroit News deployed the famed Pulitzer Line of Bryan Gruley (Pulitzer Prize), Jim Mitzelfeld (Pulitzer Prize) and Kevin Cesarz (no Pulitzer Prize) that produced enough firepower to overwhelm the Freep in one contest.


So I can attest that Bryan Gruley knows his hockey. It takes a special breed to go to battle with a large piece of lumber in one hand and relatively thin bands of plastic padding between your head and vital organs.


Authors that can special deliver a bright topic are as successful as the forward who sees his winger with his stick on the ice near the open net. Finding perfect events for specific themes is the most effective way to share ideas.


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