Friday, October 19, 2018

Book World Needs Its Banksy Art-Shredding Moment

The world’s most famous street artist, Banksy, caused a stir when a Sotheby’s auction for one of his pieces – Girl with Balloon – fetched 1.4 million dollars and then simultaneously in spectacular fashion, destroyed the work via a shredder that was secretly built into its frame.

Great P.R. stunt.

Some believe the shredded remains could be worth a lot more than what the original work was sold for.

The book world needs some gimmicks like this.  What can the industry do to stir things up?  How about these ideas?

·         Scandal over authorship – did a best-selling book really get written by someone else?
·         Book ban -- can Amazon refuse to sell a controversial book?
·         Hoax – successful book turns out to be lies.
·         Big lawsuit – someone sues a big author for defamation or libel.
·         Publisher faux pas – some publisher does something crazy like re-write a classic or decides to keep a book on the sidelines that people clamor for.
·         A new format for the book gets invented.
·         Publishers should make the first half of a book available for free – if one likes it they will buy the rest of it.
·         An author becomes a hero – thwarts a bookstore shooting.
·         Someone buys out the remaining copies of Trump’s printed books – and burns them all.

Ok, so maybe the Banksy stunt has not been rivaled of late by the book industry, but why can’t something attention-getting happen that lights up the book world?

·         Why don’t we see a brawl in public over a book?
·         How about someone famous confesses to a crime in his or her memoir?
·         Let’s unearth the lost or secret writings of some big-name politician, celebrity, or pro-athlete.
·         It’s time to get an author rant on video that goes viral  - maybe J.K. R0wling is captured screaming crazy, racist stuff at her book editor or 50 Shades of Grey author.  E.L. James is filmed sleeping with a priest and a donkey.

What could rival the popularity of Banksy carving up his own art?  What if a famous author shows a manuscript for a book that he or she decided against publishing and torches it on FacebookLive?

How about an author, maybe a mild-mannered best-selling one, is captured on tape assaulting a journalist during an interview?

Or can we have an author put on trial for punching a politician in the face?

Folks, we need something to spotlight books.  Please do your share to commit a wild act that gets our book world more publicity and attention.

Please feel free to join me on LinkedIn --

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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