Without a major publishing house to back and promote his new book, one Cupertino author strapped on a pair of Silicon Valley boots and waded into social media to market it on his own.
Kevin Leu, 33, author of the satirical Berating Others on Your Way to a Lifetime of Happiness: That, and Dating Around the World, didn’t come up with the idea of using social media this way on his own, but he’s carried his book’s personae through in a promotional video, Facebook and Twitter pages.
“I’ve seen other book trailers and they’ve seemed bland, boring. I wanted to make this viral-worthy. I wanted someone watching it to be entertained,” Leu says.
The must-watch video—attached to this article—was a breeze for him to make. The idea of how easy the character comes to him is a bit worrisome because the character Leu portrays in the video—and in the book, which is based on his blog Silicon Valley Bachelor—is precisely how Leu describes it, "ludicrous, beligerent, irresponsible". Traits that seem wildly different from the man himself.
The title of the video A Day in the Life of a Ridiculously Good-Looking Author offers a clue of what to expect.
It took one day to write the script for the video and with the help of a friend, one day to shoot, he says. Though taping day was not without its challenges.
“It was like 90-degrees out and I’m wearing the mock turtleneck and dancing in the middle of Santana Row, and it’s hot,” he says.
But profuse sweating wasn’t what drew attention to him, it was the things he said, the “lewd” comments he was making that got him kicked out.
Watch the video, read the book and blog and you’ll wonder why he wasn’t banned from Santana Row.
(Read more about Leu, the book and his blog in Patch article “50 Shades of a Different Kind of Racy Book by Local Author.”)
The book evolved from a blog, Silicon Valley Bachelor, he started a few years ago. And it was while watching him do all the writing for the blog, and his journalism background that prompted his mother to push him into writing a book. Though now she wants him to write a serious one, he says.
At first he thought he’d just write the book and be done with it, but now feels he owes it to the book to get it noticed.
He held a contest and gave away autographed books, had people stand with him holding the book for a photo op, and he joins any new social media site and promotes the book there just to get the name out there.
Going the more traditional route of sending it to prominent people such as Howard Stern and Margaret Cho he knows is a long shot given the number of other people out there doing the same thing, but still he figures he has to give it a shot.
“If anyone mentions it, it would be a dream come true,” he says.
(Just for fun, watch another parody video Leu made with another friend, Sh*t People In Silicon Valley DON'T Say, also attached to this article.)