Monday, August 04, 2008

When Book Promotion Equals Groveling

After our interesting conversation about the value of author blurbs last week, Tadmack sent me to this Salon article. First-time novelist Rebecca Johnson describes perfectly the embarrassment of asking another author for a quote about your precious:
My target was a midlevel, moderately successful novelist who wrote the kind of smart, sophisticated books I imagined my reader might enjoy. The daughter of a famous novelist herself, she had no idea what total obscurity looked like, but I'd known her vaguely for years and we shared at least one mutual friend. Fortified by a glass of white wine, I made my way toward her.

"Hi," I said a little too brightly. Was it my imagination, or was she already moving away from me? After a few forced pleasantries, I brought up the book and asked if she might be willing to read it. The expression on her face -- part horror, part sneer -- was exactly what I would have expected had I released a large fart and asked what she thought of it.

"I'm really busy right now," she answered, turning her back. After that, I stuck to e-mail. Electronic humiliation is so much more tolerable.
I feel Johnson's pain when it comes to slogging on with marketing.  Of course there are countless more important things then selling books. Case in point -- I'm heading off for our annual kid-free anniversary celebration, so I'll be back on the Fire Escape in a few days. 

1 comment:

gail said...

I just this minute read finished reading the Salon article and thought of you.