Sunday, April 26, 2015
Fountainhead meets Communist Manifesto
As you probably know, as many books as possible these days are sold through use of the mashup; that is, the comparison of said book in your hands to the confluence of two other well known books. The mashup is irresistible marketing. You can do it in one short sentence taking up surprisingly little space on your precious covers. You get to put your book into the direct company of two other vastly more famous, beloved, and respected books. And you get to allude to a dynamic frisson of alchemy, a brand new taste made up of your favorite old tastes. I can futilely try to describe my blog for hours, but if I said my blog is like Don Quixote meets Bartleby, the Scrivener you would probably, um, be just as confused as ever. But that is only because I am a really bad marketer. A good marketer would probably say something more like "Clerkmanifesto is like Alice in Wonderland meets Catcher in the Rye." and you'd probably want to read it even if neither of us have any idea what that might mean.
But all this is an almost entirely pointless introduction to the trivial thing I am bursting at the seams to tell you. While shelving up here at the library today I saw a book with a truly terrible mashup on it. It was: "Catch 22 meets Tom Clancy".
And so here is my lesson to all you many book marketers who pour over my blog in a wildly misguided attempt to glean tips: You cannot have a mashup of books that are too similar to each other (It's Pride and Prejudice meets Bridget Jones Diary, for instance), and you cannot, absolutely cannot mashup two things that are intrinsically opposed to each other- no Fahrenheit 451 meets Mein Kampf, no Fountainhead meets The Communist Manifesto and definitely no Catch 22 meets Tom Clancy. I don't care if you were able to trick our fiction librarian into buying it. It's wrong. It's wrong, and I will be hiding it in one of our cushy chairs until it's time to weed it.