Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Promotion Lessons from Justin Bieber's faux pas

There's been a mild buzz over Justin Bieber visiting the Anne Frank museum and leaving a note which basically says he believes she would have been a fan of his.

People have said this was crass and disrepectful, immature and irreverant.  All sorts of negative adjectives being hurled his way.

But it also can serve as a lesson in self-promotion.

In today's writing market, authors are having to do more and more to promote their books in a crowded arena.  When anyone can put their grand opus up via Smashwords (with all the bad grammar, spelling errors and plot holes intact ... not that I'm bitter) then the market becomes crowded with low quality products and it becomes that much harder to get attention for the good and great writers out there.  (And for the record, self-publishing is not a sign of low quality.  I've read many amazing self-published works, some of which were later picked up by the publishers who first turned them down because the readers recognized the quality.)

The articles and stories around Bieber's visit have put him in the easily distractable public eye once again.  I'm sure that he has enjoyed a slight increase in sales despite the publicity being negative.

This is one of those aspects that I struggle with.  Media-attention grabbing antics are not something I would be comfortable engaging in deliberately.  I might put my foot in my mouth sheerly by accident but planning to do it just strikes me as wrong.  Yet, a certain profile is necessary in order to achieve my self-stated goal of earning money as an author.

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