Why being pictured naked with your pet may be the answer to marketing your next book

Let's get to work! Image: Pixabay

Let’s get to work!
Image: Pixabay

Have you ever bought a product on the strength of its marketing campaign?

No? You’re too strong-willed, aren’t you? You’d never fall for the kind of manipulative, cynical gumph that advertising companies try to make us all swallow. You’re wise to their game, right?

Funny that we all like to spin this kind of fairy tale around our own gullibility – just before we march out to buy that new Toffee-Choc-Banana-Vanilla-Frosted flavour of Poptart. You know the one that was splattered all over that last ad break ...

Not all ads hit the sweet spot for us all, of course. For instance, I’m one of those weird, increasingly rare social outcasts – the non-driver. So it’s unlikely that even the best crafted, luxuriously shot, open road, empty planet fantasy promotion for the new Ford Sphincter* will result in me leaping from my seat with evangelical zeal, exclaiming,

My word! That’s the lifestyle that would bring to my existence the inner satisfaction and fulfillment that has so far been sadly absent. Automobile retailer, speed me one of your finest metal stallions forthwith. And throw in a nice pair of driving gloves and one of those snazzy beaded seat covers while you’re at it!

Of course, advertising is all the more vital these days as every market sector seems groans with a range of products.

A wander down the pet food aisle at my looking supermarket is all that’s needed to verify that. In my experience, canines are not generally fussy eaters – they eat each other’s dog eggs for a start – so why is it necessary to have hundreds of food types, flavours and culinary experiments for them to savour?

Well, it’s not for the dogs, is it? Dogs will eat boiled neck and pig face. It’s sold to the owner to make them feel they’re taking good care of their best mate and genitalia licking companion.

And so it is with books.

Now, I’m aware authors don’t write about dog genitals or beaded seat covers (well, they may do, but I’m not going to camp out all night at my local Waterstones to catch a first edition), but we do need to market our wares and if we want to sell any number of copies, we have to market them well.

The UK publishes more books per capita than any other country – only the U.S and China publish more overall and while it’s kind of lovely to think this little island nation produces so much literature, with other forms of entertainment vying for peoples’ time, we can pretty much say that the market is flooded. Little wonder that most authors don’t earn enough to eat, let alone write full time.

This, of course, is one of the reasons authors are now relied on so heavily to market their own books – it’s an all hands to the pump situation.

What’s the answer?

Well, firstly, none of us can expect to give up the day job. We have to write for the love of writing, not for the tiny likelihood we’ll make a large enough pile of cash to make Smaug envious. 

Nextly, if asked to develop an eyecatching marketing plan for a publication, be inventive.

Give aways, engaging with your online community, signings, readings are all standard approaches. But may I suggest mixing it up a little? Perhaps by sprinkling in a small amount of nudity, punching a celebrity (or claiming your baby is theirs – any or all may help spread your name around).

Alternatively, you could always write a novel based around pets driving cars whilst eating a new flavour of Poptart. Success is guaranteed.

*Just wait, this will happen. When car makers run out of super snappy, energetic, glamorous words in every language under the sun, we’ll be reduced to the dubious. Ford Probe, anyone?


13 thoughts on “Why being pictured naked with your pet may be the answer to marketing your next book

      1. Never doubted it for a minute 🙂 I think I’ll stick to pets driving cars, myself – nudity not being my strong suit. I’d wear a head to toe swim suit at the baths if I could!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Car makers’ names for models could be both creative, current and mischievous, couldn’t they: Russian cars? ‘Dope’! German cars? ‘Cheetah’! British cars? ‘Nostalgia’!

    Meanwhile, Lynn, chin up! An interesting short article entitled “How creativity is helped by failure” is at http://bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34775411

    In other words, you’ll get there with continued creative marketing of your creation …


    1. Love this article! Have just quoted snippets from this to my son, who is always afraid of failure. Embrace failure – such a great idea.
      Love the Russian car – the Dope. Should sell well over there, as the government claim the whole doping scandal is a conspiracy to make them look bad. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, bless you, Jane. Thanks. No, I don’t drive – and neither does husband. Something I’m sure our son will curse us for when he’s older and realises how much he’s missed out on during his life – all the spontaneous trips we could’ve taken but the convolutions of the public transport system defeated us. Ah, well. One small token gesture towards saving the planet 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! That’s what our beloved (!) mayor, George Ferguson keeps telling us, though Bristol’s streets seem more clogged with traffic than ever. Sad look out for the nation’s first ‘cycling city’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m disappointed to learn that. My niece lives in Bristol and she cycles everywhere. A few months ago someone trashed her bike because they couldn’t get the lock off it and steal it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear that – poor thing. A depressingly familiar story. I had a bike nicked from our back garden a couple of years back – they’re almost disposable. I’m too scared to cycle on the roads, though my other half does – fortunately, he’s very cautious and observant, which has saved his neck more than once.


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