According to W. Somerset Maugham, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
No, I know what you’re thinking: You’re thinking, “Leod, you’re a visionary genius, surely you’ve sorted out what one of these rules is?”
Yes. Yes I have. But I’m not going to tell you, and it isn’t because I don’t know, it’s because of… other reasons. Totally legitimate reasons.
But I’m getting off topic. What I wanted to discuss today are the three rules of promotion. Unlike the rules of writing, the three rules of promotion were figured out years and years ago, presumably by the guy who invented the toga and then convinced the entire Roman world that not only was wearing a sheet a perfectly legitimate ‘style,’ but that they should pay him for his specially made sheets.
Or her specially made sheets. I don’t actually know who it was selling the sheets.
This sacred knowledge has been handed down, generation after generation, century after century, hidden, lost, found again, then lost again, and finally found again. Now, after years of secrecy, I have discovered it and am prepared to share it with the world.
Of course, those of you who’ve taken the time to look me up on google are probably asking yourself, ‘hey, if this Leod guy has figured out the secrets to marketing, why is it that the internet has never heard of him?’
Well, maybe the internet is just stupid. Huh? Did you consider that, smart guy?
Anyway, where was I? Okay, the secrets of marketing and promotion.
I should explain: years ago I embarked on a sacred quest. I scoured the earth interviewing hundreds of people, spending a small fortune searching for the hidden truths that would guide us all into a bright new world, a world where great works wouldn’t lie unread, because nobody wanted to read a book with that few reviews, and there was no way to get it enough reviews until people started to read it. A world where a bad book cover wouldn’t spell the end for a brilliant new novel. A world where you didn’t need to tell people the cool twist at the end of your story just to get them to start reading it.
It took years, but I found the ancient secrets in a small bodega in a middle-eastern country, owned by an ancient woman with skin so wrinkled I thought she was a bag that somebody had deflated.
I took the parchment she gave me back to home and had it translated, and here they are. The three sacred rules for marketing.
- Focus your attention on the people who end up buying your product. You’ll find that your other efforts are largely wasted.
- Try to make advertisements that people will notice. The best way to do this is to avoid making advertisements that people don’t notice.
- While some might argue that all publicity is good, in most cases you will find that good publicity is better.
I have since learned that the woman in the bodega makes most of her money selling scraps of parchment to treasure hunters. I wonder if I can convince her include one of my promotional bookmarks in each sale?
Leod D. Fitzless has been a writer for nearly as long has he has been a reader. Absurdly fascinated by the power of the written word, he realized at a young age that the only career which held any interest for him was that of an author. When he isn’t pouring his blood, sweat, and tears onto the page, he’s selling his blood to plasma clinics, his sweat to a variety of employers, and his tears to pretty much anyone who'll buy them. He’s worked as an animal caretaker, a shelf stocker, a farmhand and warehouse employee, but he’s always been a writer at heart.