Marketing, Mothers, and the Hometown Crowd

Not so long ago, I ran into one of the local bar owners. It’s a small town bar that I’ve never heard anything particularly bad about. They have live music, when they can get it, and one of the performers who plays there is a co-worker of mine.

I have never gone to see his show. I’m an early riser, so I get up around the time bars close. And I probably wouldn’t be qualified to tell an amazing performance, if I did see one. (My musical instrument of choice has always been a CD player, and to be honest, I’m not any good.)

So, the bar owner started telling me how amazing and talented my co-worker is. (I believe she used the word “talented” about twenty-seven times.) Just so talented. Which is probably true. He’s certainly something of a showman.

And then, she added the most small-town thing ever.

He’s just so talented… and so is his father.

Well, shoot. Just when I thought I was listening to an objective opinion.

I don’t think Mick Jagger’s mother ever rallied his street team by telling people about the first time he made doody in the toilet like a big boy.

I don’t know if the father is talented, but the statement put a definite slant to the statement. Yes, they both perform at her bar.

That leaves me thinking about family. Mine and yours, the biological, and the chosen.

The people who’d do anything to support you, and the people who don’t mind letting your career happen in their bar, as long as your fans keep buying beer.

The person who comes in and special orders about a million copies of your books, because they assume the extras will just go on the shelf. (I’ve seen it. Okay. It wasn’t a million. It was a hundred fifty.)

It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder if there isn’t a Family and Friends Guide to Publishing: 101 Things You Need to Know to Help Your Favorite Author’s Career.

Things like… if you don’t pick up a special order at the bookstore, those books don’t go on the shelf. Or things that would make your life more convenient–like that you may not have personally designed the cover they hate, or that no, you don’t know Stephen King.

What would you tell them? What do you want them to know?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: