People hate advertisement. Unless you love ads, than of course you shall be excluded from my oversimplification of the world. I have never met anyone who enjoyed being marketed at, but if you haven’t met a writer in the flesh, then you don’t know the shear level of hatred writers have towards marketing.
And I get that. Writers love to live with the illusion that their words speak louder than cheap advertisement… that also uses words. But no, their cover of the book could NEVER enhance or destroy their precious, finely crafted art.
Writers love to ignore that complex humans are easily persuaded by graphics, photos, catchy jingles and, well, everything else marketers have mastered for persuasion purposes. Because, after all, writers deal with complexity. So, anything less complex and, well, “valuable” is just cheap advertisement!
Writers repulse at the idea that they are as much a brand as their work. The thought those hours and years spent on polishing that manuscript and then it just gets ignored because people don’t respond well to orange covers or ten word titles* sends shivers down anyone’s spine who forfeits parties and any kind of extended fun and instead hunkers down to punch the keyboard. No, just keep plugging away at that word doc and ignore that people might buy books because they recognize a name or are intrigued by a title or cover.
And I get that repulsion. I do. Or do you want to be a product? A label? Reduced like a consomme to the bare bones of a name? Or a thirty-second pitch? Or a one liner?
I’m sensing your sympathy and I too am totally sympathetic to the fact that nobody wants to be reduced to anything that’s less complex and spectacular than your real you. Having a name that people know and makes them go “uhw”, and pull out their wallets seems… pretentious and weird and quite frankly petrifying for anyone who ever hopes of selling her or his little story.
But there is also something positive in this. Okay?
First, lets acknowledge the fact that we should all be grateful for the invention of the consomme. They brim with ingredients and are the source of anything fabulous in your cuisine. Think of your favourite author and you too will have a taste of their own flavour of consomme in your mouth. Or a vague idea of who you think they may be in your mind. Take a minute. Close your eyes. Picture that person. Savour that flavour.
Now stop that and keep reading!
We like eccentricity. We love passionate creatives, wild hair and unruly behaviour pushing norms and toppling standards.
If people want to think of you as a flavour than make it work in your favour!
Me for example. If people what to picture me as an irresponsible socialite who injects savoir vivre into any boring social gathering then… yes, that’s totally me. I laze around all day just to switch on my nocturnal workaholic and work on my latest novel. Totally!
So have a think. If you could be anyone – and I say it again: ANYONE! Who would you want to be. Now be that! Create your own brand of crazy!