Friday, April 13, 2007

Ask Ms.Viola: On Talking Up Your Book

Hellllooo, friends, and I do apologize for missing my Thursday deadline. As Robin mentioned, I had to race back to New York to help a client of mine. Mr. Man needed a little jolt from the Ms. Viola defibrillator to get him up for his interview. And a complete wardrobe do-over. You can’t imagine the shoes he planned to wear! And that tie! I took his entire ensemble into immediate custody, and called Housekeeping for a bio-hazard pick-up.

But enough about him. Let’s get down to today’s biz. I had such a time picking our first topic. So many 'licious ones came in, and I do hope to get to all of them in the weeks to come. (Ishmael, I’m consulting some Eastern practitioners on your special dilemma and will be back with you shortly. In the meantime, well—you be careful, honey!)

Jody Shapiro, please light your kettle and whip out your cozy. You will be getting your winning Ms. Viola mug in the mail shortly! The first ever, and sure to be a collector's item.

Here is her question:

Q. Now that I haff published a book, how do I mention it to mine friends (and also mine enemies) vithout seeming too, you know, Gaboorish?

Your admiring almost vithered author.
Jody Shapiro

A. Boorish! Schmoorish! God, yes, the Gabors are a bore! Certainly! But memorable? Absolutely. So how does one strike a balance? You do yourself no favor by keeping your book under the proverbial bushel. Since you are in the publishing industry, Jody, I want you to consider how many authors you’ve met, and how many times you’ve been thrilled to hear about their books. 500? 1000? More?

Then tell me, my good woman, how many have you met that have told you about their book, and you just wanted to slap them silly? Or maybe even reach in and rip out their tonsils-- especially if this is the 6th time they've told you. Honestly now, how many true bores? 1? 4? Even 8?

This turns out to be a simple math problem, love. Chances are that if you tell everyone in the Continental USA—let’s see, that’s how many billion? Wait, I’m running my figures here. Ah, here we are. Yes! There is a good chance that if you shout your book from the rooftops, you will seriously annoy just .000000743 % of the population.

I say those are pretty fine odds, and that it's in your career's very best interest to just sing it out, Baby!

Now, as part of my comprehensive coaching services, I’ve run a deep background check on you, Ms. Shapiro. I'm happy to report that I couldn’t find a single soul in your entire constellation that believed there was even a minute chance of you EVER being a bore. (Though you owe your 2nd grade teacher milk money for the month of May, 19-yada-yada.)

And that’s a wrap! Now for the rest of you, keep your queries coming. I desperately need the loose change.

Ms. Viola Van Der Solv It

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