Monday, August 13, 2007

[OH NO PROMO] Hypocrisy and Promotion--The Power of Numbers

My original training is in psychology, so I am at peace with hypocrisy as a natural human condition. However, it is still an uneasy state of being--and, rationally, not a strong one. So hypocrisy is going to be the theme of this mixed commentary-slash-promotional post. This is based on some of my more recent promotional windfalls.

Firstly there is my novella 'Son of a Bitch' in the anthology The Call from Torquere press. First off, kudos to Torquere Press on several counts. First they approached the contributors to their themed anthologies directly rather than relying on an open call. I appreciate it when a publisher specifically wants my work and makes a place for it. Secondly they responded to author requests for print production and put these anthologies in print. I know, in most cases epublisher make their money of ebooks--print editions are something they do as a service to authors. And I do so love having a physical book in my hands. Which brings me to hypocrisy number 1.

I am not really thrilled with for many reasons. One of these being they way the suddenly delisted all ebooks to cater exclusively to mobipocket. So why am I so happy to have a book listed at Amazon? Because they are the single largest book distributor out there. For many people (e.g. Shelfari users) if a book does not appear on Amazon it simply does not exist. Ergo being on Amazon makes me feel more 'real' as an author--even if it shouldn't. It is also a gateway to more sales.

My second happy moment was hearing that King of Dragons will appear in an advertisement for Samhain Publishing appearing in the December issue of Romantic Times. Now you probably know by now what I think of RT's advertising policies relating to the small press and to M/M books.. The public statements of their staff even stopped me from buying this magazine which I had been reading regularly. All the same, an ad in RT is a big deal because they have circulation, newsstand and subscription, that is an order if magnitude higher than the nearest competition.

The romance genre is overshadowed by behemoths such as Amazon, Romantic Times and Romance Writers of America. And behemoths do have a habit throwing their weight around, often to the detriment of minorities and individuals. But one of the reason for this is that they can, especially with the weight of the general readership behind them. It is easy to complain about the things they do to secure and retain their power, but who would refuse to benefit by association with them? In the long run, certainly not I.

Hypocrisy, I tell myself, is a natural human condition. But if I am willing to do things that may not be 100% in accordance with my beliefs in order to make a bigger profit--am I really in any position to complain about organizations that do the same?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a tough one to call. But the difference I think between you and those other organizations is that you are not pushing around the smaller people, or the minority, to make that bigger profit. Where as they are pushing that minority away as if we are the plague but still taking money from us.

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