Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Book promotion limits?

Are there limits to the extent to which you'll go in order to garner book promotion opportunities? I hope so! An example of an out-of-bounds book promotion maneuver (in the opinion of this humble book publicist, anyway) is playing an April Fool's prank on the media.

Editors, producers, and reporters might choose, on their own, to observe the rite of foolishness on April first. But authors, publishers, and book publicists don't have to feed into that nonsense in the name of book promotion.

Forgive my grumpiness, but I just read this article on called "A nod and a link: April Fools' Day pranks abound in the news." Some journalists might have found it amusing to cover a spaghetti tree pest back in 1957. But I'll be honest with you: if I'm watching, reading, listening to, or clicking on a newscast, I don't want to filter the news through my reality filter (which isn't to say that I take every word uttered by all the media, all the time, at face value, of course). I want to trust that the newscast has at least tried to get its facts straight and has the good sense to not play games with media consumers on the first day of April.

It's not that some of my clients haven't thought that it was worth pitching a "joke" to producers and editors in honor of April Fool's Day. It's just that, as a book publicist whose reputation matters to me (and who values the integrity of her clients, as well), I don't think it's appropriate to play games with the media under any pretext whatsoever.

It's not worth scoring book promotion if you have to play an April Fool's Day prank to do it.

And, no, I don't think April Fool's Day pranks are very funny. Alas.