Sunday, October 9, 2011

Silly Sunday & A Stamp on your Butt

Getting Noticed~Being Silly, Insane or Otherwise Normal


"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."– Sidonie Gabrielle Colette aka Colette

It's one of those crazy, insane moments for me. I just heard from an agent who liked one of my children's stories and wants to see more.

This wasn't necessarily brought on by a foolish thing, I was desperate to get off the slush pile with one of my new novel ideas. As I may have mentioned in other posts, I'm the Queen on Abby Normal...long live the queen. When life is serious most of the time, you need a release or permission to be crazy, impulsive, silly and just not normal. This particular time since one of the main underlying themes was chocolate...I sent two pounds of assortment of mini chocolates along to illustrate my book. I'm NOT recommending this tactic to anyone. It was an insanely stupid thing to do.
I know queries and first chapters can lie in THE PILE for weeks or months. Non monetary type "bribes" would become stale, draw insects, or worse yet smell to high heaven with time. I'm not recommending monetary bribes either. Any ethical agent or publisher (the only ones to work with) would probably reject your work on principle alone. I was hoping the irregular bumpiness might draw some attention. I was extremely lucky Homeland Security didn't pay me a call.

Well, it worked sort of. It was almost two months before I received the call so I'm pretty sure, the chocolate was a bitter mess. All publishers and agents say, "Don't bribe me. Impress me with your writing." I know how to do that. My credentials speak for themselves. It was just a silly, fun thing to do. But it's given me some thoughts on how to market my books...like dressing like a zombie for my horror novel book signings.(a previous post see-book signing 101)

Authors use everything at their disposal to market their books with to the reading public. I have a romance writer friend who passed out match books along with the standard bookmarks for her new book. Saying her book was hot stuff! Another romance writer friend passed out little net baggies with her bookmark, a tea candle, and a trial size bottle of bubble bath, and still another hands out red eraser lips. A juvenile writer passed out bookmarks with a small magnifying glass so children could look for the bugs that are in her book.

Getting noticed and remembered is the key. You may wear a funny hat to all your book signings and events that publicize your book. Giving out little freebies, or even the standard bookmark with a little something extra like a tassel on top. I'm a member of Southeastern Writers Association. I've been a member since their 25th anniversary. At the first conference, I was a budding novelist and it was the first writers conference I'd ever attended.  I was only printed in nonfiction at the time. On the first afternoon, it was meet-and-greet, each person in the auditorium was asked to stand up, say their name, and then attach something memorable to it. I thought about it long and hard. Then I decided to play on my heritage. My turn came, I stood up, announced my name, and followed it with, "I have 'made in Japan' stamped on my butt."

It worked. Now when I travel and run into one of those original two hundred authors, they'll point, start laughing and say, "made in Japan, right?" After a few minutes, they will remember my name. This is after a decade or more! I keep hoping that as we all age they will forget, although I did get noticed and remembered. The challenge for the day is do something full tilt outrageous in your writing and in your life. And above all...
Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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