Chet the dog: blogging and on Twitter to sell books

There are more than a hundred thousand books released in the English language each year. How the hell do you stand out?

Well, you can follow the lead of Lisa Genova, who used social media to turn a self-published book into a NY Times bestseller.

Or you can use social media and have fun with your characters at the same time, like Spencer Quinn has done with his new book released last week called Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery.

Quinn started a blog and Twitter feed in the voice of his main character. But, get this, the main character is a dog. Meet Chet, the wise and lovable canine narrator of Dog on It, who works alongside Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. Chet might have flunked out of police school ("I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved"), but he's a detective through and through.

I just love Chet's blog and Twitter feed.
Quinn speaks dog language amazingly well. Great stuff.

Example tweet: "Love surprises myself. Finding a forgotten chew strip, for example. What beats that? Not much."


"Way to go, Stump, winner of the Westminster Show last night. The ears on that old guy - maybe the best I've ever seen. And the whole show - is there anything better on TV? Not that I know of. I didn't catch quite all of it, on account of when the dogs run around the circle I get a bit excited. Did you see how many treats they got? Watch how the handlers are always reaching into their pockets - that's for treats! Can't tell you what kind because there’s no smell on TV, one of the big drawbacks. Are they working on fixing that? Also, TV has sound but it’s not quite right. Bernie never seems bothered by that. Maybe humans don’t notice. Humans are full of surprises, but I've liked just about every one I’ve ever met, even some of the perps we've taken down."

There is also a Chet Appreciation Society on Facebook where one discussion centers around who (as in which canine actor) should play Chet in a movie version of the book.

This is a fantastic example of smart marketing! And considering that this is Quinn's first book and it is selling briskly, the marketing is working amazingly well.

David Meerman Scott

Subscribe to Email Updates

sonic branding