Wednesday Writing: How to Be Good?!
So about two weeks from when this posts, I ignited a mini shitstorm by taking a “book reviewer” to task over giving Slaughterhouse V 2 stars because she didn’t GET it. Of course I did it in my usual not-so-nice way.
This begs the question for me: how can I be good? How can I not be a grumpy bulldog? Because when it comes time to market a book, you really can’t do that, though maybe James Frey is trying that to some extent. No, you’re supposed to go around nodding and smiling politely (or the online equivalents of that) and answering dumb questions in “interviews” without gagging.
It reminds me of that scene in “Bull Durham” where veteran catcher Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) takes rookie pitcher Nuke Laloosh (Tim Robbins) aside on a bus ride and explains to him all the cliches to use in interviews. Sayings like “I just want to help the ball club” that are pretty much still in use today. Not just in baseball but in every sport. Whenever a hockey player comes back from injury and a “reporter” asks him about how he feels he says, “I’m just trying to play a simple game and help my teammates.” I mean without fail they always say something about a “simple game.”
So what are the literary equivalents? When I go to someone’s blog and they give 2 stars to a classic book, what can I say that won’t have an angry mob storming my blog the next day? Should I just say “Thanks for sharing”? That’s what people on Gather do, as I’m sure Mr. Pagel knows. Should I say, “That was a really interesting post”?
I need to find this out so when it comes time to start marketing I don’t shoot myself in the foot or burn more bridges. (Probably have to use an assumed name now despite my previous aversion to such a strategy.) How can I go from grumpy bulldog to nice bulldog? Or maybe I should go from a bulldog to a golden retriever; they’re usually nice, right? (Except if they get rabies like Old Yeller.)
I think part of it is:
- Don’t call people assholes, morons, idiots, etc.
- Don’t make snarky references to Disney movies
- Don’t talk about fight club…wait that should be #1
Now I’m on my way!
Friday Flix: The Joneses and guerilla marketing.