Thursday, March 22, 2007

. . . or we will shoot this dog.


Note to book publicists: don't put stickers like this on ARCs. Reviewers don't want to know how you're going to spend the money.

10 comments:

rindawriter said...

And please oh please oh please ALL BOOK PUBLICISTS get rid of those AWFUL book advertising BUTTONS...you know, the horrible cheap kind with those gruesome big stabbing pins that are guaranteed to rip holes in anyone's best sweaters...WHAT is the sense of giving out these utterly useless BUTTONS as promotion materials for books????? What a waste of $$$$!

Hey! Instead, try those stick on wash-off tattoo thingies or false nail sets or stickers or T-shirt transfers or nice, wonderfully large postcards with lots of room to write on the back or plastic combs or quirky pens or bizzare little gadgets that I don't know what to do with except stuff in my three-year-old toys bucket for bored children who visit my house or, or, or.... that WONDERFUL elasticized book mark thingie that Random House was giving away at the last ALA...I secretly swiped as many of those as I dared to give away, and EVERYONE LOVED THEM! What a fantastic promotion idea! BUTTONS??? What a tacky 70's idea......

Andy Laties said...

But don't ARCs go to booksellers as well? Dropped off by sales reps during sales calls, or in a Booksense White Box shipped to booksellers, along with a stack of other F&Gs?. I'd think that since the sick-kids-donation-offer is a pure-play marketing gimmick, it would be the retailers to whom the sticker would be meant to speak/explain. We retailers are all about the bottom line, and our impulsive public does seem to be composed of suckers for this sort of heartstrings sponsorship.

I don't have any generic objection to corporate sponsorship. It just depresses me that it's injected via such a sticker into the at-home, after-purchase experience of apprehension of the children's book in practice.

The book-cum-book has to stand alone, when read, independent of its initial marketing campaign; as a read work of literature.

Chris Raschka is brilliant, and the sticker is a sort of pollutant. It's a drag that the read-to child perpetually will have to re-encounter the message that "money makes kids recover from terrible illness" -- as broadcast by the sticker on the cover of the finished book (a gold sticker I suppose).

I mean: severe -- CRITICAL! -- illness is a spiritual crisis, and this (any) artistic intervention is the OPPOSITE of finance. Money doesn't cure disease or restore the dead to life (if only!). Art transmutes personal, intimate trauma in a psychic sense, which is one thing art is FOR -- not for funding a research program that has an impersonal long-term impact at the epidemiological level.

Anonymous said...

I particularly like the absence of any actual named charitable organization, like maybe Chris' kids just have really bad eczema or something.

Don't forget the blurb on the back from renowned book critic Desmond Tutu.

Andy Laties said...

I think that David Shannon's book "A Bad Case Of Stripes" should have a sticker on the front promising donations to the Childhood Schizophrenia Foundation.

JeanneB said...

I agree with Andy -- how sad for the child that gets this book. It makes me think of those little orange Unicef boxes we carried around for Halloween. GUILT personified.

(By the way, I first typed QUILT personified -- going back to one of Roger's earlier posts, I suppose.)

b.e.m. said...

Jeanneb, it may just be because the current issue of Horn book has as its cover an illustration from one of those quilt books Roger is so sick of seeing.

Kelly Fineman said...

Sick kid sticker = icky.

Also, if the book is called The Purple Balloon, why does only the Red Balloon have a face?

Anonymous said...

Amen. And I would bet good money that Raschka did not want that sticker but that the word came down from marketing, marketing, marketing. By showing their lack of faith in their own products — must have stickers! must have stickers! — they only undermining their own efforts.

Elizabeth said...

I would bet money that publishers as smart as Schwartz and Wade knew there was a charitable component to the book that had to be advertised on the front of the jacket in some way to help the book sell. But I'd love to see some of the following on the front of books "Warning: this is a weak knock-off of a more popular series" or "Your $$s help put more money in the pocket of the author's wealthy heirs who do drugs in London nightclubs" etc. Or maybe "This book was published in hopes the author's next book will be a biggie."

Hmm. I sound like a toddler who missed her nap.

Anonymous said...

why does the red balloon have a face? Clearly it is a self-portrait by the artist