Wednesday, July 18, 2007

No Such Thing As Bad Publicity?

STATUS: I spent the day on the phone. Literally. Like four hours straight. I thought I would lose my voice at the end there.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? TURNING JAPANESE by The Vapors

Authors that spark controversy get noticed. Just recently one of my YA authors asked me how she could have her novel banned. Banned books get noticed and she’d love to be on a banned books list.

I must have looked a little flummoxed by the question because I never thought of it that way before but she’s right. Banned books get attention.

I said she just needed to use the word “scrotum” in her work.

And no, I’m not going to explain the joke because I know many of my commenters can help you out with that. But here’s the truth. Authors don’t set out to write a book that’s going to be banned. They start by writing a book that embraces an honest or essential truth (which can then offend a segment of the population). As you can probably tell, I’m not one for banning books.

But I like the idea of authors garnering attention for their books. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity?”

For example, right now there’s a controversy unfolding regarding my author Marianne Mancusi and her promotional partner Liz Maverick and the costumes they chose to wear at their RWA signings. They basically dressed like the futuristic characters in their books forDorchester's new Shomi line (MOONGAZER and WIRED).

I personally think they could give Alicia Silverstone in the movie CLUELESS a run for her money. Cute is the word that comes to mind for me. Here’s a pic if you want to see for yourself.

But boy, aren’t they just the talk of the town. Check out the discussion going on at Smart Bitches. And if you are of the mind that being in the limelight keeps your books in the forefront of readers’ minds, then this isn’t a bad thing at all.

I guess the real question is whether publicity (controversial or not) translates into sales.