Friday, September 12, 2008

When book promotion successses makes readers unhappy.

There are times, and seasons, when a book gets too much media coverage, or when it gets media coverage for all the wrong reasons. That's when book promotion makes readers unhappy -- and when book promotion can blow up in the author's (or the publisher's) metaphorical face.

Two cases in point. First, Lynn Spears' new book about her daughter, Brittney. Once "delayed indefinitely" (at least, according to a People magazine article, which cited the fact that a younger teenage daughter had become pregnant), Spears' book is now getting so much publicity that I can't get away from it. Everywhere I click, every page that I flip, and every station that I tune into seems to be providing another book promotion opportunity for Lynn Spears. Do we need that? Not me...I was already convinced that I didn't need to hear Lynn Spears' ideas about parenting before the media became saturated with "news" about the book.

Second case: Stephenie Meyer's new novel, Midnight Sun, that was apparently supposed to be the last book in the strangely popular Twilight series. It seems that Meyer sent out a rough draft of Midnight Sun to a few people in her inner circle, and one of those "trusted" friends posted it online without permission. Meyer was unhappy enough to cancel the book's publication, according to virtually every media source that covers books including this one (in case you care to read the story again. I'll admit it. I bought a copy of the first novel in the series because I wanted to see what all the hype was about before Meyer's unpublished novel received all this publicity. Got to say: I didn't make it through the book. Maybe it was the vampires, or maybe it was the dubious characterizations and plotting -- but I gave up on it with about 30 or 40 pages to go (which is never a good sign -- especially when the someone who gives up on it is an avid reader of Young Adult novels). Anyway, Meyer may publish the novel eventually, and will all that book promoton help sales? I think it will. Sadly, I really do think it will.

So there you have it. Two books that I don't want to read, and two smashing book promotion campaigns that I wish hadn't happened.

Call me selfish, but I'd rather see book promotion opportunities go to authors whose works I respect. Oh, well.

1 comment:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

It's not just a question of the promotion dollars being spent on an author whose work I respect. It's a question of promotion dollars being spent on an author I've never heard of -- and will immediately respect upon hearing of this person and reading his/her book.

I do wonder what the literary landscape would look like if that were to happen...