Saturday, December 22, 2007

The sincerest form of flattery

I had the pleasure of meeting a seriously whacked author at EPICon in 2007. Jeff Strand, dubbed the EPPIE Awards' M.C. for Life, has an enviable sense of humor that I am going to imitate (i.e., plagiarize) below. I believe this qualifies as furthering his career, so he shouldn't object too strenuously.


If you’re reading this, no doubt you order all my new books in a flurry of “Oh, jeez, please don’t let it be sold out…please, please, please don’t let it be sold out…all I ask is this one small–oh, thank God! Woo-hoo! V for Victory! Yeeeeeee-ha!” That’s cool. You have my utmost gratitude.

Unfortunately, it’s been brought to my attention that many of you think that your role in the process ends with purchasing and subsequently reading the books. Well, that kind of lackluster effort puts a frowny face on my face. I thought we were in this together! I’m not saying that you should be as committed to my success as I am, but is a 65/35 split too much to ask?

The process should be:

  1. I give you the precious gift of writing a new book.

  2. You buy and read my gift to you.

  3. You try to help me make it wildly successful.

  4. I get paid more for giving you future gifts of writing new books.

We’re good with 1 and 2, but 3 and 4 are a bit shaky. Perhaps it’s my fault. I haven’t provided enough guidance. Therefore, Jeff has helpfully compiled a list of 10 ways that you can assist me in selling lots of books. Please select three (3) tasks from the list and complete them at your earliest convenience.
  1. Buy Extra Copies. This is the easiest way you can help. Order several extra copies (several meaning 3 to 7) and leave them in strategic points around your city, such as a bus stop or a Starbucks. Check into BookCrossing where you can read & release books into the wild. This allows a stranger to discover the book, think "Here now, what’s all this?", read a few pages, and–SHAZAM!–I've just acquired a new fan who will order fine flickering hungers and Coming Together: For the Cure and ArtiFactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique and Phaze Fantasies I and Time Warp and Artistically Inclined and Double Header and Bound for Success. All for the rather effortless act of changing the number in your online shopping cart from 1 to 7. See how easy this is?

  2. Spam. Spam like your frickin' life depended on it. Look, when I spam, it's spam, but when YOU spam, you're merely sharing news about your very favorite author. Possible subject lines include: "OMG! Alessia Brio RULEZ!" and "BRIO WRITES INCREDIBLE SEX!"

  3. Defend Me From Critics. Sometimes there'll be a message board thread or a blog comment, and somebody will say "Gosh, I can’t wait until my copy of Alessia Brio’s new book arrives," and some other cretin will say "Forget that! I don’t order ebooks!" Well, pardon my use of the f-word disguised with asterisks, but f*** them! Don't allow those Whiny Walters or Negative Nellies to poison the populace against my ebooks! When somebody posts something like that, reply back (in all caps) that you're going to kick them right in the teeth. If the message board allows you to insert graphics, include a picture of some teeth and Photoshop a picture of your foot kicking them.

  4. Write Your Own Alessia Brio Fan Fiction. If it's slash fiction, include relevant illustrations.

  5. Act All Impressed And Stuff By Good Reviews. After you've read the review, print out 75-80 copies and post them around your hometown. Stand next to the flyer in the highest-traffic area, put on your most winning smile, and tell passing strangers that we roomed together in college.

  6. Drive a Species To Extinction in My Name. This sounds ambitious, but I'm not talking about a major species, like manatees or humans. I just mean that if, maybe, you're walking down the sidewalk and you see this weird-looking beetle, and you remember from some science documentary that only one of them remains, that you stomp on it and shout my name. No big deal.

  7. Include the phrase "That's all well and good, but what does it have to do with Alessia Brio's fiction?" in all of your daily conversations. I think this one is self-explanatory.

  8. Praise Booksellers Who Carry My Books. The owner of Best Erotic Books doesn't HAVE to carry my books. Nobody put a gun to his head and said "Put these books on your site or your brains will create abstract art upon your flowery wallpaper," and they didn't punch him in the gut when he made a witty but anger-inducing comment about his splattery brains being better reading material than my books, and it certainly wasn't necessary to break a couple of his fingers to get him to cooperate. So why not praise the man? Tell him how much you appreciate the fact that he carries fine books written by people like me. Send him a package of expensive pears, or maybe bring over some hot cocoa after you visit his website, just to say "Thanks."

  9. Add Brio Promo To Your Signature Line. What does your current signature line have? A funny quote? A life-affirming statement? Promo for YOUR book? Sorry, but that me-me-me attitude isn't going to sell more copies of fine flickering hungers now is it? Change your signature line to say something like “Buy Alessia Brio's EPPIE Award-winning single author anthology fine flickering hungers or you suck!" Post often. Send a flurry of one-line e-mails with vapid content that won't distract the recipient from your signature line. Bonus points if you create a flashy, obnoxious, eye-melting banner that links to my website.

  10. Every Time You See a Computer, Visit This Webpage. At work? At your public library? At your local Circuit City? Anyplace there are computers around, just pop into the web browser and walk away. If they're seated in front of the computer and try to slap your hand away, pretend to enjoy the physical contact a little too much.

Okay, everybody got it? Let's get the Brio Brigade into gear and ROCK THE WORLD! March on, sexy friends!

1 comment:

Jeff Strand said...

Guess I'd better get started writing that Alessia Brio slash fiction!