Allan Mayer’s Weblog

I was a Virtual Prisoner…

Posted on: February 5, 2009

Ever thought about promoting your book in a virtual world?

I didn’t know it was possible until last weekend when I came across Second Life (SL).

SL is easy to access and to load, although I’m sure that some of the more advanced options will take time to learn. All you have to do is register, choose an identity, and you can guide him or her (or ‘it’ in the case of some of the avatars I’ve seen on there) around a vast 3-dimensional world.

SL has locations to cater for every taste. Yes, there is an adult area, although I won’t be venturing there. I think you would have to be of a particular mindset to get sexual kicks in this way. Although not everyone agrees: when my character fell, Mr. Bean-like, out of the SL sky, one of the newbies was being asked by another for a ****.  I suggested that if she did she might pick up a virus…

But on to higher things. If you type ‘books’ into the search function you are presented with a whole menu of virtual places on the subject. I went immediately to ‘Book Publishing Island.’

There is a virtual town there, made up of nothing but bookshops. I was in Heaven.

Of course it wasn’t as simple as that. When I arrived I immediately got caught behind some billboards. I could see rows and rows of bookshops, but couldn’t get to them. I tried the ‘fly’ option, but couldn’t get out, so as it was Saturday night, a night when the brain is traditionally clouded, I gave up and logged off.

When I logged on again a couple of nights later my character was still stuck! Then I had the obvious idea of calling up the menu again and teleporting out and back again- which worked. My virtual imprisonment was over.

I would recommend a visit to SL- I’ve still got a load of places to check out, and I’m sure it has great potential as an online social tool. It is also free, but you can buy SL currency to spend on things like hiring or building ‘properties.’

But it did leave me with one question around my particular interest in the site: I was checking it out as a book marketing tool. Does anyone go on there to buy books?

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has either bought or promoted on there. In the meantime, why not pay it a visit at:

www.secondlife.com/

 

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