Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When You Get Published, Will You….?

Here’s a fun one, comrades. And don’t you be a party pooper about this. Answer honestly. We're all friends here, so no harm done if you admit that you’re gonna Google yourself hourly or put a ticker on your lawn with the days, hours, and minutes remaining until your book is published. We promise to wait until after you leave before we start giggling and saying, "Can you believe the ego on that one?"


When you get published, will you …

1) put your picture on the book jacket?

2) read your reviews on Amazon?

3) create a book trailer or post v-logs at your website?

4) arrange to do your own promotional events (book signings, speaking engagements, etc.)?

My answers?

1) No. I see no reason to put my mug on the jacket flap. Never once have I looked at an author’s picture and had it positively affect my desire to buy a book. I have, however, looked at an author’s picture on a jacket flap and thought, “Jaysus, this guy looks like a complete wanker” and then NOT bought the book. So, what I’m saying is -- to paraphrase Depeche Mode, which I so often do -- pictures are very unnecessary, they can only do harm.

2) No. I once had the good fortune to work with a fellow who was a well-known magazine columnist. He was a very generous, happy guy despite being the frequent target of some rather harsh criticism about his writing. A piece of advice he gave me was, “Never read your reviews, good or bad.” I’ll do my best to follow that guidance.

3) Not if I can possibly avoid it...or rather, only if I can prevail upon someone who’s talented and who will work for free to create an awesome, professional-quality book trailer for me (wink-wink: you know who you are, my computer animation genius brother-in-law and my equally fabulous illustrator sister-in-law). As for the v-log thing – come on. There’s a reason we’re writers and not spokesmodels. Why take something painfully awkward (yourself) and put it in motion in a YouTube-like setting? Unless and until pity becomes a strong motivating force in book-buying, I'm staying firmly hidden behind my bloggy curtain.

4) Probably. Because I’m a good little author, and I do what my agent tells me to do. If she told me to walk around Times Square in flesh-colored unitard with a sign on my head advertising my book, I’d do it. And yes, of course, if she tells me I have to do any of the things on this list to market myself, then all bets are off, and I will disavow all knowledge of this blog post.

Your turn.