Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware
How not to promote your book: make up a faux publicity company (at whose supposedly professional website you are the only listed client), whip up a badly-written press release (don’t bother with grammarcheck), and spam everyone you can think of (including, unfortunately, Writer Beware).
That, apparently, is the strategy behind the email that landed in my Inbox the other day. It’s just so awful I had to share it (it’s exactly as written, though I’ve redacted the author’s name, the title of the book, and the name of the faux publicity company.) Writers: don’t do this.
Great Publication vs Successfully Commercial Stories – What’s the difference?
Some questions have such clear answers that you know your answer the moment you hear or read it. These are of the “Who was the better James Bond: Connery or Dalton?” sort. You might even blink a few times to make sure you read the question correctly.
Any book publication that sells in excess of say 20 to 30 million copies in today’s world must therefore be considered as somewhat “Great” no matter what or who happens with the work next?
Three examples come to mind… We know that J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings became the gold standard of fantasy novels almost immediately upon its publication in the mid-1950s and it’s hard to know what to say about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books that hasn’t been said a million times already, it being translated into 67 languages or that [author name redacted] [book title redacted] spectacularly illustrated book format has become a cult, all of which had differing physic affect on most of the any age reading public. No doubt, more copy-cat trilogies will be churned out in the future but not, true story telling masterpieces like the three above and for differing reasons, will always lead the way. So, vastly different stories they may all be, but the comparison between imagination, uniqueness, true story telling and reader enthusiasm is yet very valid.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books have had phenomenal “Box-Office” commercial success through being converted into film without even using overpriced actors, while [author name redacted] [book title redacted] still has yet to achieve that accolade that sometime no doubtedly it will; once the studio moguls take it on and decide its eventual fate.
The point being made is that all three works were firstly publication successes before ‘commercial barons’ laid siege to mind blowing and sometimes difficult author’s interpretational renderings. The simple conclusion is that ‘true storytellers’ are few and far between but, when the dose of commercial flair is injected to the mix it provides astounding financial results mainly because the proper passage of time and attention to publication detail have been connected to the box-office commerciality of proper work and not just some special effects demand.
“Its ALL about the Story Telling!”
Ask James Cameron about ‘Avatar’ and today he will now readily admit that it was just an astronomically expensive current fad, it will never stand the test of time as have the three publications mentioned above. Yet a well written publication. simple and not very expensive film like “The King’s Speech” took the world by storm in 2011.
So People, with accountants of major studios failing to understand this concept, they will continue going down however, one day they will learn that its not about luck or even the money or names thrown into the film; its about creating a great story as a starting point and then developing that product base.
Should it be of any interest to you, please feel free to contact us directly at:-
[faux publicity company name redacted]