the part about me (this is a blog after all):
I've spent years trying to be honest and disdaining bullshit about myself. Other people, if they have a myth built up about themselves, that's their business and I'll support them. As long as their tales aren't destructive to others, I figure they are the kind of people who'll make life more interesting-whether their lies are successful or not. More power to them, actually, if they can build and live up to an image that is a little better and cleaner than most actual humans can manage. Or if they're not very good at it or just tell random lies, too--I don't resent them. Their not-so-great lies make them more interesting characters, and make their personalities a little muddy, which is always a good thing in my world. Another reason I don't condemn or point fingers, there's the matter of glass houses.
I was a liar for years and years and I wasn't particularly good at it because I didn't buy into my own lies and because early on, my mom, whom I respected to nth degree, called me on it ("we all know your teacher didn't really get married, dear") and said it was a bad idea. She did such a good job, by my late teens I got physical symptoms when I'd lie about myself. Exaggerate? Hell, yes. Every day in every way. But that's different.
the more interesting bit about an odd promo campaign:
I occasionally see instances where maybe a good lie would work. Or maybe I just mean staying silent is the best plan.
I'm talking about career, of course. Sometimes getting the truth out on the table is not such a good plan if selling books is your goal. Here's what promo people say and I'm beginning to believe: you want to let people think that everyone loves your books. You want to look successful because success sells itself. I don't mean all those people on twitter who say "I make 2000000 a day! You can too!" They're obnoxious. I mean just wearing success quietly, whether or not it's real.
I tend not to think in these terms, obviously.** But if I owned a marketing hat and I managed to put it on, I would think that using a lack of a new contract would be something to keep quiet, not make part of a marketing campaign. I could be wrong about it. I know from twitter that some people are buying her books out of pity. I know that editors and agents don't care about a writer's hopes and dreams so it's not a way to sell to them. But the direct public? Maybe they're more interested.As long as they actually get the books, then what's the problem? Why should I care?
I don't much. Or rather I don't feel indignant and I'm not rolling my eyes. I wish Marvelle luck. BTDT as have most of the writers I know, actually.
I'm just not sure I'd use a lack of contract as a way to push books into people's hands.
The real reason it gives me pause: You risk sort of badmouthing a publisher or making yourself look pathetic which isn't really an image you want to promote, unless you're Philip Roth or someone whose books fit that "I iz loser" mold. I don't think branding is as real as the experts do, but I must believe it to a degree because I'm thinking. Hmm. This is branding in a bad way.
I can see doing this campaign playfully, because that might be sort of funny line to take.....like that guy who did the "even my grandmother hates my book" video. Where's the link to that damn video? I loved that thing
The giving away fifty dollars? That's a standard sort of promo lure. Interesting combo of the usual and unusual promo procedure. I hope she lets us know how it goes.
** this is very useful. I can say to myself "that book didn't hit the bestseller list because I stink at the promo" and not blame the actual book. Which means I can keep on writing. Otherwise I'd just wilt.