Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There is no recipe for that hum of excitement

Sorry in advance folks about my broken linkity-link button. It is pouting over in the corner and refusing to acknowledge my repeated requests. In fact none of the buttons work. No idea when normal transmission will resume.

I have seen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two and have become a little obsessed. Hoping to see it for the third time today. I guess after seven previous movies played out over the ten teenage years of much of the cast, both story and reality have somehow entwined to deliver up an intense and satisfying conclusion. If it was an eight part series about adults it couldn't reveal growth and change in the characters in the same way. You know you are an adult when you can wipe all memory of yourself from the minds of your parents in order to protect them from unbridled evil. And -SPOILER ALERT IF BY ANY CHANCE YOU HAVE WANDERED INTO MY BLOG WITHOUT BEING A READER - when you have fought the enemy for so long, delivering yourself up for death makes sense. And now it is over.

Read this interesting post ( over at Nathan Bransford (ex-agent, now author)'s blog and nodded at this bit

"This is one of the hugest drawbacks about an era of publishing where publishers expect authors to shoulder the lion's share of the promotional activities. No one I know enjoys self-promotion, and no one out there particularly likes being promoted to either. People usually want to hear about new things from enthusiastic and neutral third parties, not the hugely biased person who created the thing."

Bransford goes on to say that despite the hideousness of self-promotion you have to suck it up and do it anyway. I struggle mightily with this. If folk would rather hear it from someone else then telling them directly might be a bigger turn off then a turn on. Campaigns that go viral, go viral for reasons that all the experts in the field can't explain. Look at Harry Potter (the editor at Scholastic US himself said he was closing the fantasy imprint when Harry Potter came along), look at Susan Boyle, look at Twilight or Justin Bieber. There are plenty of things shoved in our faces everyday that 'don't take'. Movies, books, programmes, stars, with lots of money and creative thinking and crafty persuasive advertising behind them and none of it generates that hum of excitement, that 'I gotta have it' reaction. I will go out and meet potential readers and read my books to folk and hope they like what they hear enough to part company with their money to own it. But I don't know that doing more than that makes a difference. The one thing I will do is keep trying to create new work that readers might like, especially those that liked my previous work. Because sometimes it is the weight of one's career that helps it build speed.

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