When I wrote the first draft of this blog post and read back over it, I realized it was negative. I wanted to touch on how bad karma ends up biting you in the ass. I did, but realized as I did, I was projecting the same bad karma by being negative about the negative people that I have crossed paths with. So, I deleted it and am starting over. I will say this though; the entire blog topic came to being because I learned recently about a person who I have no respect for, a person who is rude, crude and socially unacceptable getting their comeuppance. I’m not ashamed to say while I don’t consciously will bad karma on others, I was apathetic when I heard how this particular person had fallen on hard times. My apathy was solidified when I also learned the dreck to my neighborhood was a criminal to boot. All of the negatives this person spewed landed back on them. Good riddance.
I know we have discussed ad nauseum the negativity in this business, and how the internet has proliferated it. But bear with me here.
It’s damn scary all of the information out there. In the touch of a keystroke flame wars can break out. In a keystroke someone who woke up smiling is reduced to tears. In a keystroke a person’s hopes and dreams can be dashed. Battles ensue; wars of words are won and lost, egos are inflated and tender souls are wounded, all in the span of an hour.
Scary. And who is at the root of this? Anyone who has an agenda, anyone who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, anyone who is angry at the world and feels the need to spread the pain. Or worse, someone who is looking to shock and awe an audience with no care given to the casualties. We see it all of the time in business. Whether it’s the likes of Enron, Hollywood or the recording business. Hype sells, the more negative the better.
In some cases when there is no victim this strategy can be quite the effective maneuver for one’s career. I know of a recent stunt by a well known artist who had the industry buzzing with, “Did you hear what happened to So and So?” Now mind you, most of the people who spread this question like wild fire had no idea who So and So was. But when all of the dust settled you can bet they knew who this person was. What happened was So and So set it up to look as if…well, let’s just say this person attracted a windfall of attention. The result? Guess.
While the end result was indeed a coup, no one was hurt, and the more I thought of what had been staged then played out to perfection, the more I kept thinking, why didn’t I think of that?
In affect what this person did was pull a publicity stunt. It’s done all of the time.
Then I thought, would I? Could I? My gut reaction was no. Then I thought, I’m not smart enough, then thought, okay, if I have the perfect stunt, do I have the nerves to carry it out? I know I would have to tell someone, and then well, eventually the word would get out and I’d look like a fool. Which brought me back to my original answer. So, the answer is no, but not for noble reasons, but for, I don’t want to look like a fool reasons.
But if I was smart enough, and could keep my mouth shut, and knew the end result would be a huge spike in sales…
What crazy publicity stunt would you pull to get your name out there and generate sales? And how far would you go?
PS, this week I’m giving away a signed copy of Jami Alden’s debut novel DELICIOUS. All you have to do is comment. The more times you comment the more times you get your name in the hat. I’ll pick the winner noon Friday!