Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How To Wonderfully WriteSex (19)

Check it out: my new post at the fantastic WriteSex site just went up. Here's a tease (for the rest you'll have to go to the site):

Oh, dear, I’ve done it again. 
You’d think would have learned my lesson – what with the fallout over the whole Me2plagiarism” thing – but I guess not. 
Just in case you may have missed it, I have a new book out, called Finger’s Breadth. As the book is a “sexy gay science fiction thriller” about queer men losing bits of their digits – though, of course, there’s a lot more to the novel than that. 
Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to create another bout ofcrazy publicity by claiming that I would be lopping off one of my own fingersto get the word out about it. 
Naturally, this has caused a bit of a fuss – which got me to thinking, and this thinking got me here: to a brand new Streetwalker about publicity … and pushing the envelope. 
The world of writing has completely, totally, changed – and what’s worse it seems to keep changing, day-by-day if not hour-by-hour. It seems like just this morning that publishing a book was the hard part of the writing life, with publicity being a necessary but secondary evil. But not any more: ebooks and the fall of the empire of publishing have flipped the apple cart over: it’s now publishing is easy and publicity is the hard part … the very hard part. 
What’s made it even worse is that everyone has a solution: you should be on Facebook, you should be on Twitter, you should be on Goodreads, you should be on Red Room, you should be on Google+, you should be doing blog tours, you should be … well, you get the point. The problem with a lot of these so-called solutions is that they are far too often like financial advice … and the old joke about financial advice is still true: the only successful people are the ones telling you how to be successful. 
That’s not to say that you should put your fingers in your ears and hum real loudly: while you shouldn’t try everything in regards to marketing doing absolutely nothing is a lot worse. 
But, anyway, back to me. One thing that’s popped up a lot lately has been people telling me that I’ve crossed a tasteful line in my little publicity stunts – that somehow what I’ve been doing does a disservice to me and my work. 
Yeah, that smarts. But hearing that I also have a rather evil little grin on my face: for what I’ve done is nothing compared to what other writers have done. 
Courtesy of Tony Perrottet of Th e New York Times (“How Writers Build the Brand“), comes more than a few tales of authors who have done whatever they could – and frequently more than that – to get the word out about their product. Case in point are these gems: ” In 1887, Guy de Maupassant sent up a hot-air balloon over the Seine with the name of his latest short story, ‘Le Horla,’ painted on its side. In 1884, Maurice Barrès hired men to wear sandwich boards promoting his literary review, Les Taches d’Encre. In 1932, Colette created her own line of cosmetics sold through a Paris store.”

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