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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Do Bad Books Deserve Publicity?


Everyone accused of a crime is entitled to a lawyer to defend them. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for free. You could be accused of murder, rape, pedophilia, bestiality, or the mugging of a nun – and still get a lawyer. Should the same hold true when it comes to an author having the right to promote a book, no matter how lousy it is?

There’s no constitutional right for anyone to have access to a publicist but the First Amendment gives us all the right to publish anything and to say anything without fearing the law will prosecute or persecute you. Should publicists promote any book, regardless of its quality, content, or author?

Some publicists will promote anything. Money speaks louder than words. Just pay them and they will dance for you- - no questions asked.

Others will pick and choose their clients, sometimes for moral reasons, other times out of concern for their reputation. But often the lure of a fat retainer will sway one to convince them to give it a go.

But publicists do have a right to say no, so should the government appoint someone to promote another in such cases? It’s not the job of the government to make sure one's book is sent to the media.

There are some books that are just embarrassingly poorly written, lack editing, and cover a topic that is either over done or unimportant and uninteresting. Worse, there are books that contain hate, cruelty, and ignorance. Others propose ridiculous theories or deny the truth and facts. Does any publicist, regardless of the financial bounty, really want to dirty his or her hands promoting such garbage? Are they obligated to decline? 

All books represent ideas. Everyone has the right to say their peace, no matter how vile or disdainful. Society is obligated to challenge them, to disprove them, to deny their crazy ways from being accepted. But we can’t just stop a book from being published, sold, or promoted.

I don’t have a set standard in writing as to what I won’t promote, and I have promoted books where I disagree ideologically with the author. However, I do know I couldn’t promote a book that encourages violence against another, whether it be a racist diatribe, a manifesto for guns, or a book demeaning humanity. I also believe that every book deserves a publicist and that every publicist reserves the right to say no to an author. It’s a contradiction we have to live with.



Book Excerpt: HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

by Dale Carnegie


So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN HANDLING PEOPLE
Principle 1: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
Principle 2: Give honest and sincere appreciation.
Principle 3: Arouse in the other person an eager want.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

People are not interested in you.  They are not interested in me.  They are interested in themselves – morning, noon and after dinner.

If we want to make friends, let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness.

A show of interest, as with every other principle of human relations, must be sincere.  It must pay off not only for the person showing the interest, but for the person receiving the attention.  It is a two-way street – both parties benefit.

You must have a good time meeting people if you expect them to have a good time meeting you.

Everybody in the world is seeking happiness – and there is one sure way to find it.  That is by controlling your thoughts.  Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions.  It depends on inner conditions.

So if you aspire to be a good conversationalist, be an attentive listener.  To be interesting, be interested.  Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering.  Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments.

You want the approval of those with whom you come in contact.  You want recognition of your true worth.  You want a feeling that you are important in your little world. You don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but you do crave sincere appreciation.  You want your friends and associates to be, as Charles Schwab put it, “hearty in their approbation and lavish in their praise.”  All of us want that.

The unvarnished truth is that almost all the people you meet feel themselves superior to you in some way, and a sure way to their hearts is to let them realize in some subtle way that you recognize their importance, and recognize it sincerely.

  
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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