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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dog and Pony Show

Sorry for disappearing. I'm still a bit sick. I can't seem to shake off this bug. But my convalescence netted me a new observation.

I don't watch much tv, but lately, I've been watching a lot and I noticed a familiar dance--the promotion dance.

Maybe I've had an overdose of Hollywood, but I couldn't help notice how many actors and other big name celebrities hawk their latest projects with all the finesse of a street vendor. Some of them looked downright uncomfortable. Others hammed it up.

When I started seeing the same people on different stations promoting their latest book, movie or CD, it reminded me how we as authors come across when we blog about our books, hold contests, give interviews or do a book signing.

Some of us feel uncomfortable. We hem and haw, desperately hoping the interview, signing or whatever ends soon. Others play the clown, just as desperate to focus all attention on themselves.

There is a middle ground though. One set of celebrities, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, looked somewhat uncomfortable, perhaps hoping the interviewer didn't ask them any embarrassing questions, yet they did try to make each interview slightly different from the last. They also did one other thing, they concentrated on their product, "Australia" as their selling point.

While the movie sounds fantastic, I'm not sure they as promoters were entirely successful, after all, their only reason for making an appearance was to sell the movie. After hearing the pitch a half dozen times, I was bored of it. But the interview suddenly became more interesting whenever the actors mentioned bits of their experience. Their anecdotes were so compelling, it made me want to watch the movie more.

That became an aha! moment.

What if when we promote our books, we don't just hawk the logline, but give a little of ourselves--an inside peek at what makes us capable of writing that piece of work?

I'll go more into this subject in my next blog post because there's a blog I follow that practices just that--and he doesn't even have a novel out yet.

Watching these big name celebrities made me realize that despite our canyon of revenue divide, we are both in the same boat. We somehow have to make consumers aware that our product is out there and invite them to try us. How we do this without alienating them is the tricky part.

More on this fascinating topic later. Off for another nap.


Diane Craver said...

I'm so sorry you haven't felt well. Hope you start feeling better soon.

Enjoyed your post and look forward to more on this topic.

Sarita Leone said...

Hope you feel better soon!

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, guys. I can't seem to shake this thing. What gives?

Appreciate the good wishes!

Suzanne McLeod said...

Sending hugs and well wishes, hope you feel better soon ;)