Saturday 25 October 2014

Don't Launch a Book Until After It's Been Read

The marketing department emailed me, asking for endorsements and accolades that they can use on the cover. I had no idea how to get rave reviews for a book that does not yet physically exist. I offered...

 "I liked it quite a bit" ~ Mom

They accused my own mother of lacking credibility.

I replied, "What could be better than an incredible endorsement?"

Marketing: "Don't you mean uncredible?"

Me: "Hey! Who's the writer here?"

Marketing: "Still..."

"Potato/potato," I replied. Looking back, I can see how that still doesn't work, in print.

After quite a bit of thought, I sent them this...

William M Dean's Top 14 Marketing Ideas...

1) I open a newsstand in Afghanistan which sells, exclusively, The New York Times. I sell about 3 copies which will make me the number 1 best seller of The New York Times, in Afghanistan. We put, "The New York Times #1 Best Selling Author" on my front cover.

2) I subtitle my story: "Oprah Book Club Best Fiction Award Winner"

3) Change my pen name to Stevan King.

4) I enter artwork in a contest intended for 5-year-olds. I try my best to crayon within the lines and if I win, I can add "Award Winning Author" to my bio.

5) Start the Quadra-Hillside Literary Award—Entry fee: $50. First prize: $50.  I judge the contest and declare myself winner. Add the words, "Winner of 2014 Quadra-Hillside Literary Award" Plus, bonus! I get $50! (Quadra and Hillside are the 2 major crossroads, near where I live.)

6) "Like" all 1.23 billion people on FaceBook and "follow" every one of the 232 million on Twitter, then slag Justin Bieber online to be hip and different and garner extra popularity.

7) Add ample breasts to cover picture.

8) Add porn to my website to generate traffic.

9) Start a photography company called Major Motion. Take a picture of the book. Add "Now a Major Motion picture" to the cover.

10) Add, "The World's #1 sci-fi bittersweet romance thriller involving Victoria BC, tea and man named Simon."

11) Revise the manuscript to include massive amounts of product placement... "Simon pulled back the sleeve of his Moores For Men dress shirt and glanced at his Timex Commemorative Waterbury Collection timepiece. "I'm 1/100th of a second late," he thought, "within 1/1000th of a second, per month." He lifted the can of Kool-Aid from the faux-plywood Ikea tabletop and poured what remained into the glass tumbler he'd purchased on Roll Back at WalMart. Due to artistic license, effervescent bubbles fizzled and popped over the rim, speckling the hand-crafted Indian lace doily he'd won from edoilyvendor on eBay. He used half a Bounty to instantly wipe away the sugary drops as well as ordinary household grimey buildup. "Wow," he thought, "this really is a quicker-picker-upper and it doesn't abrade my fingertips like the competitor's brand."

12) Raise book price to $1000 so we don't have to sell as many. This may sound silly, but there is a smart-phone app out there which costs $400 and simulates a snow globe! The rich are not necessarily smart. I downloaded a copy off Pirate Bay last night. It's sparkly!

13) Pray to God during the day and Satan at night.

14) Get a better job. Work harder. Use the extra money to hire someone who actually knows how to do this stuff.

Marketing replied: "You can't end a top-list at 14. We need 6 more suggestions in order to work with this list."

Does a book absolutely have to have a cover?


  1. Congratulations! This is hilarious. I'll write a comment for the cover if you like. You left off, "Ask supportive friends to give you a quote about what a stellar human being you are and how hard you've worked for this."

    1. A comment for the cover would be awesome! Thank you, sweet Peg. It's thoughtfulness like this that keeps you fresh in my mind, though you are miles away.