Tag Archives: marketing

forthcoming press, without Posh Spice

Let us mourn the passing of the Litquake sticker on the sidebar.  Yea and verily, it was a fine sticker, and will be missed–from there and also from my Events page.  My poor Events page looks rather naked now, since it only displays one event for March 5 of next year.  Stuff will fill in before then as the publication date approaches.  I have an author thingy to go to this Friday evening, but didn’t put it up on this website because it’s some kind of industry trade show.  I’m not sure what I will do there–I guess try to look marketable to book sellers?

The Litquake reading was pretty fun.  Afterward I went to the super-secret invite-only party for industry people where I thoroughly demonstrated my embarrassing inability to mingle.  I’m already daunted by making chit chat in the best of circumstances; add loud music and darkness and I’m completely done for.  At my reading, I did give my contact information to a nice lady from the magazine Poetry Flash who wanted to interview me–which reminds me: I had my first interview ever with Wendy Werris from Publishers Weekly a couple of weeks ago.  It was a lovely experience and I will look forward to her forthcoming article and review of my book.  The interview should be out in a December issue; possibly the review also, though that’s not yet certain.

All of this means–hang onto your pants for this excitement–that in the not-too-distant future, there will be actual content to display on my Press page not involving photoshopped images of myself with Posh Spice.  Sweet.

peeking around the stage curtain

I spent the evening in Sacramento at my first speaking engagement as an author!  It was a novel writing & publishing panel at UC Davis Extension, where I’ll also be teaching a course in about a month.  Anyway, I got to chat about my book and how it came to be, from inception to the travails of getting it represented and published.  It was the largest audience I have addressed so far (around 80?) save for the one time I got to introduce Tobias Wolff to an auditorium of about 300.  It was somehow not nerve-wracking at all; I guess all the teaching experience is good for making you mellow in front of groups of people.  When I did the Tobias Wolff thing five years ago, I was all shaky and suspected I might pass out!

While I was there, I got penciled in by some Sacramento library organization for a book round table thingy in March that sounds pretty fun.  When I get the e-mail with the details, I should forward it to my publicist to make sure it’s okay.  One of the other writers on tonight’s panel keeps a literary blog and asked if I could have my publisher send her galleys to review.  The lesson here, I guess, is that speaking engagements come with crazy amounts of networking.  Cool, because I suck at seeking that sort of stuff out for myself.

Other exciting buzz-type stuff: galleys are clearly being sent out to book bloggers.  I googled myself to find out what a prospective student might see if they searched for me and found this, this, and this.  That last one has a photo of the adorable package the book came in, with wrapping paper that matches the lid of Mme Brunet’s box, a tin of French candies, and a personal note from my editor.  Damn yo, Reagan Arthur Books knows how to do it up nice.

So, sleepy time for me.  It will be pleasant to drift off thinking there are people out there in the great big universe who are excited to read my baby.

three hilarious things I saw today

(1) My husband and I have always surmised that face wash would be very difficult to market to men (eg “X-FOLIATOR!  It will punch your face clean!”) yet, this morning, I discovered that such a product actually exists.  It is called Facial Fuel.  It comes in a blue bottle with a picture of a biplane on it.  The smell also aspires to manliness.  I expected it to have a sort of musky flavor like Old Spice or shaving cream for dudes (which is generally blue, and seldom comes in mango or passion flower scents), but it went in a surprisingly briny direction.  Because a metrosexual product like face wash cannot smell even remotely pleasant, or it might as well come in a pink bottle that reads “you are gay.”

The copy on the bottle did make sure to let me know that the contents are not “gentle” or “exfoliating” like those lady face washes; they are “energizing.”  By “energizing,” the copy means, “burns the skin slightly on contact.”  Really.  See?  This is a manly product, because its use is physically uncomfortable.

Facial Fuel made my whole morning by reminding me how hilarious all marketing is, especially when it is gendered.  If you need a good laugh in the shower, I recommend it.

(2) My husband and I stopped on the street corner, trying to figure out where we were relative to the Museum of Modern Art.  Before we could even pull up our location on our iphone, a guy stopped by and said, “hey, where are you going?”  It took us a moment to realize that he was talking to us, and another moment to understand that he was offering his help.  “Oh, um, MoMA,” my husband sputtered.  “How come it took you so long to get that out?” our new friend asked, before he gave us the directions.  He was being a spontaneous good samaritan, but he simply couldn’t do something nice without being a dick about it.  We thought his fine mélange of helpfulness and douchiness captured something essential about the New York spirit.

(3) There were two kinds of art works at the MoMA.  For one kind, the placards were unnecessary because the pieces spoke for themselves.  For the other kind, the placards made me laugh my ass off.  For example: a gigantic white canvas with a big dark blue smear on it.  The placard explained that the artist had theme parties during which he had a nude model soaked in a shade of blue paint he’d named after himself roll around on a piece of canvas.  He served blue cocktails, and congratulated himself on “not having to get his fingers dirty” to produce art.  Magnificent, no?

My favorite piece, however, was a chair covered in plates, cutlery, and leftover food glued sideways onto a wall.  The placard explained that the artist had been inspired while watching his paramour eat breakfast.  He glued her meal’s discards to the chair where she’d left them, and epoxied the whole deal up onto the wall.  That was his work for the day.  This piece is now in the Museum of Modern Art.  Tell me this guy wasn’t (a) Loki, God of Mischief (b) a marketing genius (c) a huge pain in the ass to live with.

Look for my next art installation forthcoming at the MoMA.  It will feature such pieces as “Husband’s Shirts Mixed with Concrete, Poured over Marital Bed,” “Husband Asleep with my Underwear Glued to his Face,” and my personal favorite, “Infuriated Cat Rocketing through Museum, Covered in Crisco and Flecks of Tissue Paper.”

See? I wasn't kidding about the biplane.