On Publicity, Ego and THE FEAR

IMG_1024Publicity, I’m finding out, is a funny beast.

Despite publicising a major Geek Cred brand, being on the other end of the equation – being the brand itself, if you like – is a very odd sensation. It feels slightly nebulous, your-life-in-their-hands. And sometimes things you write, or you’ve been asked to write, don’t show up quite how you expected them to.

I’ll explain a bit more below, but first: yes, Ecko really is on MTV (and nooooo that’s not surreal at all!). Titan Books have done an absolutely storming job, and the links below have generated very interesting feedback and conversation: –

Flavorwire – Ten of the Greatest Debut Sci Fi and Fantasy Novels
Huffington Post – Seven Best Genre-Bending Novels (and Firefly) 
Criminal Element – Extract and Competition
SF Signal – Interview
Chuck Wendig’s Terribleminds – Interview
MTV Geek – Extract 
Dread Central – Interview 
Qwillery – Interview 
Qwillery – Book Cover Smackdown
Mind of the Geek – YouTube trailer 
MSN Entertainment – Prologue 
Bloodydisgusting.com – Excerpt 
Impedimentia – Interview 
Kirkus reviews – June Highlights

From small beginnings (in the bathroom, as I remember, in a little house in Norwich) it seems Ecko is really being run up the flagpole. And that’s equal parts wondrous and scary.

But (briefly) about the publicity thing. On a couple of the links above, the way the info’s been presented looks I’ve touted myself as one of my own ‘best of’ picks – and that really wasn’t the idea. Ecko running up publicity flagpoles in a very good thing, but to run him up there myself would make my ego the size of a small city…

…and that just doesn’t happen.

Seriously, I mean it. Authors do self-doubt BIG time. We all do – we agonise terribly about our own work, about all of its faffings and failings and shortcomings, about how it’s not as good as anything that’s come out before, or afterwards, or ever… Gareth Powell calls it THE FEAR and it’s part of the game. Immersed in our own insecurities, we need other people to give us objectivity. It’s why we have editors, and copy-editors, and proof-readers, and patient and honest friends. They’re people we trust to whack us round the head if necessary.

And it’s why we need publicists – because selling a brand needs objectivity too. That person, that team, is there, not because you believe you’re one of your own ‘Top 10’…

…but because you know you’re not.

And if we’re lucky, they do a damn good job of it :)

Ecko US Cover Art

 

Reviews and Tea and Cake

Reviews are funny things.

Get a good one, go orbital. The world is your oyster, and you’re wondering just where you’re going to put that award. Then when you’ve climbed back down and remembered reality, your rational mind takes over and you realise that you’re still just you. The fact that someone loved it is fantastic, they understand it and they enjoyed it, and it’s all fine.

Reviews are funny things.

Get a bad one, and it’s like you’ve been punched. You go on your arse, all your breath knocked out of you and you wonder how to tell your agent you’ll never write again. Then when you’ve stood back up and remembered how to inhale, your rational mind takes over and you realise that you’re okay. Not everyone’s going to like the book, not everyone likes the same thing, it’s all fine.

In Ecko’s case, when you’ve written a book that’s that far outside the box, that has a confrontational lead character, then it’s going to provoke strong reaction. Some people are going to love it, others are going to hate it and find it offensive. And honestly, if they didn’t? Then Ecko wouldn’t be the character he is.

Reviews are funny things.

Too many good ones, and the bad ones keep you grounded. Too many bad ones, and the good ones stop you drinking meths.

Author Jaine Fenn once gave me a piece of wisdom I’ve never forgotten. When Jaine gets a bad review, her husband sits her down and feeds her tea and cake. When Jaine gets a good review, her husband sits her down and feeds her tea and cake…

Bless Jaine. Tea and cake, it seems, is a universal panacea.