If you’re in publishing, at some point in the past two months you’ve probably seen the video “Book Promotion 2.0.” It’s hysterical, like rolling-on-the-floor-laughing hysterical. And the thing is I can pretty much bet that most people not in publishing don’t understand a single humorous thing about it. I guess this because I have fielded every one of the promotional suggestions in this clip. And the people offering that advice were not trying to be funny.
So, to any readers who haven’t seen it, might I suggest you watch the video now. Go ahead, I’ll wait:
Now I know a joke isn’t funny if you have to explain it but, trust me, if I (or any other writer) had a dollar for every time we were greeted with, “Hey, maybe you can get your book on Oprah!” we wouldn’t need book advances.
And how about when he asks, “What am I doing? Yes. That is the question.” I almost spit my coffee on my computer screen. I have had friends and family go so far as to ask, “What are you doing to fill your time?” As if because I (finally) got a book deal, I can now sit back and eat bonbons and shop QVC while the money rolls in.
People are shocked when I tell them I still have to edit the book—actually three books. And despite the fact that I’m publishing a trilogy and I wrote three books in one year, I had someone as recently as two weeks ago suggest that I have tons of free time on my hands because I “don’t have a full work day.” At the time that comment was made, I was simultaneously editing two books while writing an entirely new one. But, hey, my laptop does all the work. I just sit here daydreaming.
My husband says I need to do a better job explaining to people what I do, because I know you all mean well. Truly, I do. But I’m just not used to having to talk about work in that much detail. Let alone repeat those details to everyone I know.
But since Dennis Cass opened the door, I might as well enjoy his platform. So here are a few more anecdotes in case Cass ever makes “Book Promotion 3.0.” Might I suggest:
Despite the growing popularity of “cell phone books” in Japan, I really don’t think I’ll be text messaging my novel to anyone anytime soon.
I also think that selling the movie rights would be a great way to promote my novel, but unfortunately Steven Spielberg continues not to take my calls.
And no, I don’t think I’ll be able to get James Earl Jones to read the audio book—if the rights ever sell. And it won’t be my voice on the audio book either. Believe me, no one wants to hear that.
Yes, I did hear about Stephanie Meyer’s promotional concert series for “Breaking Dawn,” but unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to sell out Madison Square Garden quite yet. But I will try to get some midnight release parties planned at bookstores when my first novel comes out. That type of thing is absolutely common place these days.
And thanks for recommending the publicist you used to promote your new Indian Restaurant, but I’m not sure if she’s the right person to get my books in the hands of teenagers. However, I’ll be sure to give her a call.
And yeah, it would be awesome to have fan sites with message boards and fan fiction, but I need to have readers first. I can’t really make those sites myself. That’d be kinda weird.
So thank you Dennis Cass for giving us authors a good laugh. Though I do have to disagree with you on one thing. If I’m gonna write a hit song, I’d rather have it on Rock Band. Guitar Hero is so five minutes ago.
POP-CULTURE RANT: So You Think You Can Dance
Seriously, America! You voted out Will. Seriously? Mark the quirky guy remains safe, but Will and Twitch were in the bottom two. Did you all fall asleep while dialing? Now, I know I have no room to judge. I don’t vote. I just watch. But like the judges, I trusted America to get it right. I’m so disappointed in all of you. I guess I’ll just have to wait to see Will when he joins Alvin Ailey. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time at this point. All hail Twitch!