Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why I Will Never Ever Make It As A Publicist

Tracy Kiely

As you know, this week’s topic is to discuss off-the wall places in which we might sell our books. I immediately set to work and came up with – what I thought – was a rather impressive list. Of course, I ran it by my own publicist first for her input. Her own insightful comments are indicated below.

1. Prison.

Tracy’s Publicist (TP): Um… Tracy, am I reading this right? Prison?

Me: Yes! Why isn’t this one done more? I was thinking, what better place to sell my books? I mean talk about a captive audience! Get it…?

TP: Oh, yes. I got it.

Me: I figured many of the inmates might be bored or in need of a weapon. It is hardcover you know.

TP: I think we should move on.

2. Nudist Beach for First Timers

Me: I really like this one. I was thinking, if I was going to a nudist beach for the first time, I’d be really self-conscious and afraid that I’d end up staring at everyone and then getting asked to leave. I hear that’s a big no-no. Staring, I mean. I’d want to have something to pretend to be absorbed with and/or hide behind. I thought I could sell the books in the parking lot or something.

TP: I have no response to this.

3. Pottery Barn

TP: Pottery Barn? They don’t sell books.

Me: I know. But, they always have at least one shot in their catalog of a room where there’s a bookcase stuffed with books; but the books are all in backwards! You can’t see the spines – just the pages. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen! But, if we could sell them the books in bulk for their decorating use, I’d reserve judgment.

TP: Do you even want people to read your books?

4. Book Burning Organizers

TP: Book burners? Are you kidding me?

Me: Wait – hear me out. Book burners like to put on a big show, right? I mean, why gather everyone together for a bonfire that only has one or two books? A good entertainer knows how to work the crowd and keep the show going. I thought I could contact the organizers of these groups and pretend to be an outraged parent and say that my books are worse than Harry Potter and Huck Finn combined. It’s obvious that these people never actually read the books they burn – if they read at all. Why should the books that are brilliantly creative or tackle serious issues get to go into reprints because of repeat burning business? I think it’s time to spread the wealth, so to speak.

TP: Back up. You want people to burn your books?

Me: I want people to BUY my books. What they do after that is up to them.

TP: Be honest, have you been drinking?

It was at about this point my publicist suddenly remembered a previous appointment and had to go. However, I suspect though that she will be incorporating my ideas into future client proposals because – let’s face it – they are very different from what most publicists advise. And, we all know that it’s when you think outside the box, magic happens. Or you get arrested. I forget which.


Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

OMG, Tracy. You have me in stitches! Every one of these ideas is doable IMHO. Not sure why your publicist shot them down. I think my fav is the book burners. After all, every time they say a book needs to be banned/burned the rest of us run out to buy them.

TracyK said...

Thanks, Sue. I think I will pen that letter now. "Dear Sir, I don't know if you have read Murder Most Persuasive, but it is a profanity laced homage to the devil..." Yes, it just might work!

Mark Baker said...

All of these make sense to me.

Dana Kaye said...

Ok, clearly you ran this by your Minotaur publicist, because you knew I would have TOTALLY been on board with the marketing to prisons. How do you feel about blowing up your author photo for the prison editions? Hey, anything for book sales.

TracyK said...

Dana - how about this: Remember when Blondie tried to kick start her fading career and so put her naked silhouette on her album? So, I was thinking...

TracyK said...

Dana - how about this: Remember when Blondie tried to kick start her fading career and so put her naked silhouette on her album? So, I was thinking...

Meredith Cole said...

Very funny stuff, Tracy. And definitely out of the box. Do prison libraries have murder mysteries? I know I've received fan mail from prisons before, but I wasn't clear if they'd actually read my book.

TracyK said...

Hmmm...hadn't thought of that aspect. Wouldn't want to be accused to giving them ideas...and yet, a sale is a sale...stupid moral dilemmas.

lil Gluckstern said...

I'm fond of the nudie beach. You could hype your books a way to cover the-um-naughty bits. Of course, you could also sell duct tape. Actually, I like them all, banned book list would be good also. Hilarious post.

Gabi said...

I would start with the lifers at the big house. They've got plenty of time to get to all the books on their lists.

Rationality in a publicist is highly overrated.