July 2, 2012
Lessons in Marketing, #99: And Jesus wept …
by Dennis Johnson
Lord knows the book biz has its problems these days, one of which is that, uh, people aren’t buying as many whatchamacallits — books? — as they used to. But there is one person who may have the means to counter those problems, says Alexis Petridis in a column for the Guardian in which he …
… gently draws the attention of the Publishers Association to the fragrant figure of Katie Price, and, more specifically, the whirlwind launch last week of In the Name of Love. This, you will be eager to learn, is the eighth in the brain-melting series of novels she once announced she ‘doesn’t physically write’, a reference perhaps to their basis in metaphysics, their restless probing of what Aristotle called aporia.
Price, as Petridis points out, is not known for being all that demure when she’s got something to sell, but her launch last week for In the Name of Love “was an occasion special even by the standards of previous Katie Price launches, including the one where she chose to promote her range of personalised iPods by appearing with them strapped to her head.”
In short, she rode in to the event “on a live, rearing black stallion and dressed in an orange satin bikini and matching mantilla.”
Then there was the q & a session with the waiting press, where Price, seemingly out of nowhere, told a story about doing something really nasty to her ex-husband with a bottle of vodka.
“The room fell silent,” says Petridis.
Still, he says, he “offers up this image to the great and the good in the world of letters and says: frankly, my learned friends, you can stuff your essay-length review in the TLS and your learned profile in the Paris Review’s Writers at Work series. This is how you get a novel noticed.”
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives