Long, long ago, at the dawn of publishing, the writer’s job was to write. The tawdry task of selling the writing was left in the hands of the publisher.
These days, however, the writerly hand can no longer expect to stay pure. The dog-eat-dog digital age is upon us, and with it comes a new and daunting duty. The hands which hold the pen and caper on the keyboard must soil themselves with the sordid business of sales.
“Start a blog!” they said. “You need one!” they said.
The subtext here is plain. The aim of a writer’s blog isn’t posting photos of my pets, or documenting my scandalous personal life. It’s to LURE IN READERS by dazzling them with my witty and deathless prose.
The problem with the hard sell is that it’s just so hard. Marketing is the curse of the modern age. I’m heartily sick of people trying to sell me stuff. Why would I want to inflict the hard sell on other blameless people?
Well, OK, I do know why. It’s because Momentum Books is publishing my debut novel ‘Let Down Your Hair’. It’s a modern-day adaptation of the Rapunzel fairytale. Not the sanitised versions of Grimm and Disney, but the darker original story with the gritty bits put back in. The coming of age tale of a cloistered young woman, part comedy, part tragedy, part romance, With two towers for the price of one, each ruled by a different Wicked Witch.
Look, here it is:
Much as playing saleswoman makes me wince, I would, of course, like people to buy it. I suppose the trick with marketing is to market at people who’d like to buy what you have to sell. It’s why Facebook and Google watch what you write and send you targeted ads.
Does this make this entire blog a kind of targeted ad? What a disturbing thought. So disturbing I think I might leave this entry here and drown my fears in hot chocolate.