I was all set to talk about house stuff this morning because that’s where my brain was. Then I came across this article on Twitter and have totally changed my mind.
I am really disturbed by this.
So in a nutshell this writer guy has written a thriller about a writer who is driven to such desperation by rejection that he kidnaps an agent’s child in order to get published. And as a marketing ploy, the author pretended to be his main character and faked a kidnapping for a publicity stunt.
Davis staged and filmed a kidnapping (“I checked with a lawyer first to make sure I wouldn’t get in trouble”) to post on the website, then sent an e-mail to a wide variety of agents. It began: “By the time you receive this, I will have already kidnapped your child.”
Davis eventually sorted through several offers and found a small imprint — South Carolina-based Poinsettia Publishing — willing to publish the book, on the condition that he receives the bulk of the on-line rights.
Sooooo, lemme get this straight. You go through all these hoops and trouble to stage this huge publicity stunt and you wind up going with…not a real house? Not that there’s anything WRONG with small presses, but with a stunt of that level, obviously he was shooting for the big leagues.
That says to me that there weren’t any really good offers, he still didn’t land an agent (and what agent would sign him after a stunt like this?), and he’s probably failed to accomplish the number one fundamental first step: Write a really good book.
Because, really, while we have ALL written about writers as heroes and heroines at some point in our careers, that’s lame, and by the time we’re professionals, we recognize that it’s lame. Susan and I were trying to remember the names of ours and realized we blocked it out. It’s like a thinly veiled autobiography, which is almost never a good idea. And while writer frustrated by rejection taking drastic measures might hold some measure of appeal to the legion of writers and writer wannabes out there, it’s probably not a situation that would appeal to the broader reading public.
Better to focus your energies on writing a really darn good book and developing your social media platform rather than counting on shock value to get you known.