Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” But is publicity always good publicity? On the day The Guardian wrote about readers, bloggers, authors and the publishing profession having a literary punch up over negative on-line reviews of the YA novel Tempest by Julie Cross, I had my first interview about Electrik Inc with The Bookseller.
Caroline Horn, The Bookseller’s Children’s news editor, was very nice and asked the sort of questions I’d expected. I thought the interview went okay, bearing in mind I was paralysed with nerves, but after I put the phone down I felt full of doubt. She might have misunderstood me. Perhaps I’d used a word that could be taken a different way. What if I’d said a complete load of gobbledygook? A bad story could affect Electrik Inc’s reputation. Hopefully, I will find out today what’s in the article along with the rest of the world.
I should imagine Macmillan Children’s books, the publishers of Tempest, are now trying to stem the flow of bad publicity. Mark Borkowski says, “A surge of publicity brings fame, but it is hard to control the situation and it can get out of hand very quickly. [A] company needs to take control of the media and the truth about it pretty quickly, otherwise the vacuum will be filled with tweets and sound bites which are hostile.” This is fine if you have a big publicity machine behind you, but scary if you are a small collective of likeminded children’s writers.
On the desk next to my computer, an illustration of my book’s super villain protagonist catches my eye. He says, ‘I could always vaporise her if she doesn’t write nice things about you.’
Luckily, for Caroline Horn, she’s safe this time. I’ve just read the article and it’s great.
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