How far would you go to increase your book sales? Would you give us that unnecessary organ?
At a PR event recently, a publicist asked me if I could think of a hook to help increase sales for The Donor. “It’s a shame you don’t have kidney disease,” he said, “and it’s not like you’ve donated yours…” He held my gaze for several seconds – I could read his thoughts: Would you? Is this something you could do for us? For you?
So many things went through my head, but the loudest was: I’m not sure if I have time this week.
A few days later, I gave a workshop on pitching at Write Now, part of the Aye Write Book Festival in Glasgow. I talked about how strange and uncomfortable it is that authors have to sell themselves to sell their stories. I came home wondering, how far should you go?
Should you tell the press if you used to be a prostitute? Even if it’s a lie?
Would you upset someone you love by talking about the ups and downs of your relationship?
Talk about your addictions?
Your mental health?
Would you sell a kidney?
(Go on, you have plenty of time this week. Whip it out).
A friend has just had her debut novel released. She emailed me about some interviews she’d been asked to do, wondering how much she should divulge about her life. I said something like this:
Don’t upset anyone you care about. It’s only a book, after all. It won’t hold your hand when you’re branded a liar, when an up turns to a down, when you realise you drink too much, or finally go to the doctor about the state of your head. And in a few decades, it won’t stick post-it notes around the house reminding you who you are, and where.
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO? HOW FAR HAVE YOU GONE ALREADY? WOULD LOVE TO KNOW…
(NB: I wouldn’t go under the knife, but I’d sneak links to The Donor – Tod sei Dank in Germany – into my blog, and make a cool promo video…)