Infinimata Press: Projects: You've Seen The Headlines, Now Read The Book Dept.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2014-06-03 14:00:00 No comments

One of the marketing suggestions I've seen for authors, self-published or not, is for them to tie their work into some current event in some form. Viz., Brad Thor observing that the recent swap of five Gitmo detainees for a hostage is reminiscent of his book The First Commandment.

This sort of thing has always made me uneasy, because it seems like yet another way to encourage authors to become marketers, or rather to denature the distinction between their work and the promotion of it. Or, in plainer language, are you going to be more inclined to read someone's work because they point out things like this, or less?

In my case, less — not because I have a thing against military fiction, etc. (I don't), but more because I can't help but apply my own standards to such behavior. If an author I knew did that, I'd feel like they were spamming me; that's why I'm reluctant to do it myself.

Other people often have entirely different levels of tolerance for such things, and I might simply be missing out on an opportunity. (Tell me what you think below.)

But another part of it, one I think is far more justified, is that I don't want to see tasteless or inappropriate. There might be all kinds of things I could say about Elliot Rodgers, for instance, in conjunction with this or that work of mine — either finished or under wraps — but really, that just strikes me as the worst kind of way to draw attention, by taking tragedy (or current events generally) and making them about yourself.

My own approach to this so far has just been to touch on the larger topics each book involves, and in as undistracting a way as I can manage. When I was working on Flight of the Vajra I made some attempts to tie various ideas treated by the book into discussions that were larger than the book itself — e.g., my whole take on why there is no such thing as a "post-scarcity" economy, because scarcity is perceived, and human progress all but ensures there will always be some form of scarcity.

I'm not sure how to do this with Welcome to the Fold, a far less easily synopsized work than Vajra ever was, but I ought to turn my attention back to that now that the book is at least moving again and I'm not dealing with the stress of relocation. So over the next couple of days I'll attempt to do just that — tastefully and decorously, I hope.

Tags: authors promotion publicity publishing writing