Like so many other writers, I’m flummoxed by the task of book marketing. We writers like to create art with our precious time rather than pursue the mundane tasks of marketing and advertising. Thinking of the idealistic writing life, I keep hearing Dave Grohl’s famous lyric in my head: “Done, done and I’m on to the next one” (from the Foo’s tune, All My Life) — meaning, I’d rather finish something, set it free, and move onto writing something new.
And yet, that’s just not how it works, is it? It’s more like a Glengarry Glen Ross situation where one must Always Be Closing, continually in sales mode with respect to our work. With my latest novel, Chroo (published Nov 4. 2019), I’ve barely made any headway in that department. I did try, at least (and continue to). My post of December 6 outlined all I’ve done around that, and next steps:
Social Media Connections Aren’t Especially Meaningful As a Book Marketing Strategy
Here’s the story of my spectacular failure, sharing a book link with thousands of connections across multiple social…
Progress has been slow, but somewhat steady. I now have three 5-star reviews on Amazon, for example, which is nice, though my official sales stand at seven copies. (Yes, seriously.) Book marketing is just a painfully slow-moving thing, I guess.
Sometimes, though, weird things happen just kind of out of the blue. And, in this case, it’s been mind-bogglingly weird for me. The novel here (Chroo) is basically a story about a platinum-blonde Chihuahua-wielding heiress who’s spent her whole life playing a character in order to save the world. I mean, it’s more complex than that, but if you had to boil it down to a few words, those would do.
Though I never mentioned Paris Hilton in the book, I think it’s clear who the inspiration for the main character was. How many platinum-blonde, Chihuahua-toting celebrity heiresses are there? Hell, I even buried many Easter eggs in the book to support that.
Then, just a week ago (two months after the book’s publication), here’s what was published on the cover of the New York Daily News:
Wow, I didn’t see that coming. … or, then again, maybe I did. I mean, I wrote a whole novel about this exact (extremely unlikely) turn of events, and now here it is playing itself out in real life.
Anyway, as freaked out by this as I was, I decided to hunt down the reporter who’d published that story and let her know. I guess I thought it was interesting enough to tell her. I mean, if I’d written that story, I’d want to hear from a novelist who’d basically predicted it. And sure, I had some vague notion in mind that there must be a marketing opportunity for my book lurking here somewhere. I just didn’t know where.
While on Twitter (where I’d found that reporter), I thought: You know, I ought to @ Paris Hilton herself with another Tweet. Why not? So, I did, and then forgot about it for a week. (I’m just not on Twitter too regularly.)
Then today, I looked at the tweet and the likes / comments / retweets were my usual almost-none (and the reporter hadn’t responded), but when I clicked the little analytics button, I saw it was seen over 50k times. Seemed odd. So, I opened the retweets list and was surprised to see that Paris Hilton had retweeted it herself! (And hey, she followed me, too!)
Maybe that’s the end of it. Who knows? I did reply again and offer to send her a copy. God knows if there’s one comment I’ve received about 50 times from readers of Chroo, it’s that it would make a great movie. So, is it at least in the realm of possibility that Paris Hilton might respond, read my book, like it, and somehow, I don’t know, a movie gets made? lol, sure. Why not?!
Does that do anything for Chroo? Well, I really don’t know. But Paris Hilton has publicly tweeted out the cover. That’s got to be an accolade for any author. Is the book not “as tweeted by Paris Hilton” now? Would that make any literary agent, publisher, or bookseller more interested now than they were before? It seems like it to me. Perhaps it’ll be that one noteworthy event that tips a decision maker in your favor, you know?
For the second time in a week, things seem auspicious. I’m not sure what’ll come of it, if anything, or what actions to take, if any. But, possibilities are on my mind for sure!
✍🏻 Jim Dee maintains his personal blog, “Hawthorne Crow,” a web design blog, “Web Designer | Web Developer Magazine,” and a vocabulary blog, “Wonderful Words, Defined.” He also contributes to various Medium.com publications. Find him at JPDbooks.com, his Amazon Author page, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, or via email at Jim [at] ArrayWebDevelopment.com. His latest novel, CHROO, is available on Amazon.com. If you enjoy humorous literary tales, please grab a copy!