Thursday, July 2, 2009

Getting Started

The key to success in this marketing effort of mine is not to over-think it, but just sit down and write write write. If I ponder it too long, I'll just talk myself out of it.

I've set myself a deadline: I'll send on the 15th of every month. For that to happen, I need to pick and idea and get going.

My idea list (and goal for the day: pick one and start writing.)

Sex on Shabbat. My split screen life, as a member of an Orthodox shul and teacher of explicit writing. Takes place on the Saturday I went to Minneapolis to teach Sex on the Page with Ann R-F and missed the farewell Kiddush for our MFA-holding rabbi.

Reading Forever with Henry. I’ve long had a copy of Forever stashed away to give to my daughter on her entrance into high school. She’s 9. But it’s my oldest, my son, who will make that transition first. He’s 14. And I realize: it’s my job to educate him, too. Am I up for that conversation?

One, and that’s not funny. My search for humor in the feminist movement.

Sexing the Mammogram. What the breast health industry can learn from The Hard Rock Café.

Writing Porn at the PTA Meeting. My year of writing dangerously, researching and writing a novel with a pro-pornography slant whilst dodging the Morality Moms.

Green Sex. Can I (should I?) fight global warming from between the sheets?

Thoughts on these ideas:

The key is to keep the core theme of the novel in mind. If it’s a great essay, but doesn’t accurately sell My Mother, the Porn Star, it flops as a marketing effort. My novel’s key themes are sex and humor. If this essay isn’t funny and just this side of explicit, it’s not selling my novel.

What are my rules for mentioning the family? Might be wise to leave the family members out of this. Especially Henry. Maybe he doesn’t care now, but next year (when he starts high school), he might. And the Internet is forever. Also, how funny is this idea anyway? I’d have to find a graceful way to work the novel into that essay, otherwise it’s a disconnect in theme and tone.

Sexing the Mammogram is pretty out there. I think applying the methods of experiential marketing to a mammogram is funny. But is that because I don't have this disease? Have never had a family member with it? Does it cross a line? Would I write a funny essay about heart disease screening? Might have to write this and test market it a bit to get outside perspective. I want to sell a novel, not be a jerk.

I like Green Sex and I think it’s timely. The question is, is there enough story to carry a ML column. Is there enough relationship in it?


  1. This is too funny! I can use the idea of fighting global warming from between the sheets. It's better than saying I have a headache. Gotta do my part to keep the earth cool.

  2. I don't want to ditch your efforts--indeed, I respect them, though this is not how I'd go about it myself. However, I really think you're backing yourself into a corner here.

    I've worked with agents for several years and I've worked in the entertainment industry, and to be honest, gimmicks do work--but when they're a little more relevant than yours (think Julie of Julia and Julie).

    None of your proposed columns come close to the sort of stuff Modern Love clearly aspires to