While we are all thinking about ways to encourage ourselves during the long lean period of waiting to be recognised (see post 20th July 2015) it is worthwhile wondering about the strategies on how to be noticed. Of course there are many wise and helpful hints on how to do this. However in a realms where the blogs and tweets are as numerous as the stars in sky getting noticed about anything is hard work, never mind the circumstance of having to make people think they want to read your book (Oh yes, that’s what you are trying to do, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; the niches and the genres are as full as a commuter transport device during the rush-hour and you are struggling for at least elbow room).
There are stratagems which although might not have been successful are worthy of comment for their heroic scope in determination and imagination.
- Standley Bunchberry:-a person who struck his impressionable teens during the 1960s and opted for the angry, brooding, sardonic personae really got into his stride by the turn of the millennium by gaining access to an empty building opposite a bookshop on the day a much touted and commercially sound author had their latest release. Standley with a hundred copies of (by his own admission) his masterpiece ‘Breaking Scones at The Bus Shelter’ threw out copies of the said work while crying loudly ‘Save You Money, and your Intellect! Read this!’ He’d failed to remember that the avant-garde of the late 1960s-1970s with its intention to shock and surprise both physically and mentally had faded from the population, in particular the physical bit. People who had grown up with that had got older and thus tetchy. Younger people objected to having their personal space intruded upon by 200+ bound pages.Everyone had something, not very favourable to say about it. Although he realised early on that in the name of art the crowd were not likely to stop the police stopping him, he quit, leaving his books behind. He was obliged to change his name, hair colouring and location to avoid the authorities, those struck or nearly struck by the books and also the few who had actually read some of the said work.
2. Curdley Hollinbrou: decided one needed to stand out, and managed to take a mundane route. He firstly changed his name to Plain John Smith, and people kept misunderstanding by thinking he was making reference to his name and so recorded him as John Smith and his submissions were confused with thousand of others by folk who were using the name same literally or ironically. He then changed it to Not Henry Jones and offended several people in the publishing industry either with that name or had close associations with a Henry Jones and wanted to know just why he did not want to be known as Henry Jones, which flustered him a little and as his style of explaining irony was not very effective he just came across as someone who objected to the name with such a vehemence that he wished the world to know about it. He finally settled on K. Henning. Bradspie; people wanted to know why he had punctuation in his name, he said he hadn’t noticed, it did not leave a good impression, but he stuck with the name and opted for writing works with very odd titles. ‘Under The Florid Visage of The Lock Keeper’s Daughter’ failed because he could not get beyond the title. ‘Looking for Bunchberry and Other Recipes’ an internet serving only served to get him hit in the face by a total stranger who said ‘leave me alone’. ‘Uncle Soloventure’s Last Ice Cream’ was sent to a possible publisher wherein sat a sub-editor of a compassionate nature who misconstrued the metaphor and ‘K’ was visited by the police and social services who both expressed concern for his mental stability and potential for self-harm. After this he turned his skill to criticism and now spends his time long, involved and disgruntled reviews on Amazon which no one understands, much less feels inclined to comment on.
3. Harriet Jasmine Lentil. Upon deciding that she was wasting her time with publishers, agents and other such stuff took to self-publishing on a grand scale. As there is no one to stop her, she has currently accumulated a catalogue of some 53 books, covering such subjects as Cooking: ‘Shrimps and Mashed Swedes in Ten Ways’; Travelling: ’10 useless travel guides’ (not subject to court action as none has noticed it); Biographies :’ Beans and Gladstone’ Military History: ‘ Waterloo- Montgomery’s First Gamble’; Romance: ‘Pale As The Gooseberry Hairs’ and Action/Thriller: ‘Let Slip The Dogs That Chew’. She possesses 10 Facebook identities; has 3 Twitter accounts, 4 websites and contributes to 50 forums. Apparently not even trolls have noticed her. She views it all as Very Promising.
I am sure there is inspiration enough for everyone.