Hissy-Fit Marketing

Petals of Joy
Image: PetalsofJoy.org

Nothing beats a good hissy-fit. You know the kind, where you pull your hair and stomp your feet and get so red in the face people think you’re a thermometer? That’s a really effective way to scare off bears and stray pussycats. I tried it at the office… not so effective there. I guess I can sort of kiss that raise goodbye.

But a wild hissy-fit might just be the thing that puts your book over the top. What would happen if, like, you started getting into the world’s grille about something – racism, climate change, dirty diapers, you get the drift – and made some sort of a big hissy-fit. Your fit gets on YouTube, you go viral, and, oh, hey, you also wrote a novel that now we all have to read because, goodness, what a vibrant person you are!

It could work.

Sadly, if you threw a hissy-fit over something really nice, like the West African success against ebola, you wouldn’t get any coverage at all because the world doesn’t work that way.

Sadly, if you threw a hissy-fit over the nastygram items listed above, you might get branded as a tantrummy sort of bozo, because that is the way the world works. Seriously, who wants to read a book written by a bozo, unless you are the REAL Bozo, and then, hey, that might be kind of cool. A book on clowns by the master clown himself – you could make it really scary…

Step One in the Gorilla Marketing Plan is to avoid Hissy-Fit Marketing (HFM), because it only garners negative attention. I get enough of that at work.

Step Two is to make things big, which is sort of a parallel to HFM. Make things big – broadcast yourself. Spread yourself out. Do LOTS of stuff, and tie it all together. Yes, it takes a little effort, which is anti-gorilla, but it simply has to pay off.

You are publishing your book online, right? What’s the magic word there? Nope, not bozo. It’s online, bozo. Search engines and crawlers and robots troll the WWW every single second, making links between this and that, him and her, it and, well, it. The more connections you have, the bigger you are.

You don’t stop dancing with the 600 pound gorilla when you’re tired – you stop when he’s tired. Dolly Parton wears those outrageous wigs to make her short little self not so much. Say what you will about the other parts of her, at least the wigs make her look taller.

So, no on the hissy-fit, yes on the broadcasting yourself all over the WWW.

If that doesn’t work, well, then, ding-dang it! What THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE??? WHATSA MATTER WITH THE DING-DANG STINKING WORLD

Beating the Biscuits out of the Bears

Snarling Bear

What are you supposed to do when you’re hiking along a trail, happy as a lark in a predator-free environment, when, son of a biscuit, there’s a bear, like, right there, growling and frothing and pawing the ground like a bull, although he’s only seen those on TV because we know that bulls and bears only get together in the stock market, ready to have you, yes you, for lunch?

You don’t run, right? Run, and, bango, the bear’s looking for bread because he’s ready for a you-sandwich. No, no, no. You make yourself look much bigger than you really are, right? You need to suddenly grow six inches and six sizes and froth at your mouth and shake your head like, dude, there is something really wrong with you. If you do that, chances are pretty good that the bear will remember that he’s on one of those low-carb diets, and really, you look a little fluffy, like maybe you’re stuffed with mayonnaise, and well, gee, maybe he left the kids on the stove and, maybe some other time, huh?

In the world of online writing, the bear is the vast void of the Internet, the inescapable sea of voices, writers just like you, well, almost a lot like you, sort of, that yell dude, it’s me! Read my stuff! Just like the frothing fellow on the trail, this bear eats you – well, your work – and away it goes, and you find yourself looking down the path wondering how come you worked so hard but got nothing but bear-bite marks on your keester. And, just like the trail-growler’s lunch, you die, because, as writers, we all die when our work goes nowhere.

So, you gotta be big…bigger than big. You have to be a phenom. And maybe you’re just a tiny little phenom, like not so big a phenom that we read about you in the tabloids at the supermarket – really? Are you the batchild? – but big enough to have your voice heard over the moaning, bad-writing multitudes mewling for attention. Because you’re a better writer than that.

Bears live in creepy caves that most often have a boatload of icky spiderwebs. While the world wide web has nothing to do with bears, although, of course you and I know that it does, it, too, hangs out on servers, which are like creepy, sort of icky boxes of hot metal and plastic. But I digress. Don’t let that keep you from climbing across the world wide web like a thousand-legged spider, because that’s how it really, really works: all of the silken webs tie together, and you can use ‘em to catch more than just flies.

When you write for a publisher, look for ways to get the same piece published at other sites. Start your own site. Start your own blog. Publish the same piece in as many places as you can think of. Spread everything you write just as far as your imagination can take you. Each piece you write then becomes a web, and you become the spider at the middle.

The robots that look for similarities across the web see you, yes, you. Your name rises in the search rankings. Eventually, and this is no joke, you become someone. Yours is not the mewling voice, not the blather of the multitudes. Yours is the voice of authority.

Are you famous? Well, somewhat.

Because yours is the voice that beat the biscuits out of the bear.