Monday, August 23, 2010

Promoting Blaggard’s Moon, August 2010 Christian Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour, Day 1

I’m reading Blaggard’s Moon, by George Bryan Polivka, and am wondering why it has never made the New York Times Bestsellers list. Actually, there is no mystery to it - it hasn’t been discovered, yet. Whose fault is that? As Randy Ingermanson once pointed out in an e-zine, nobody is more interested in your book than you are. The burden of marketing one’s book lies heavily on the shoulders of the author. Those who have spent the time (and, I assume, the money) to promote their own books unrelentingly have largely been rewarded for their efforts. If Polivka were to do the same, assuming he has the interest and the means to do it, I think this book could make it big.

For so-so books, or even books that are above average, I would say that it is justifiable for the bulk of promotional responsibility to be on the author. But a book of this caliber should find more than its own author as the promoter.

The publisher comes to mind. Why would a publisher not seek to get the word out on this book is a mystery to me, unless he doesn’t recognize the book to be as good as it is. Surely, that is not so. Perhaps the publisher has to be careful during this economic downturn and cannot afford to devote the time or money to it. If that is the only reason, there should be a change of heart as soon as recovery comes. Perhaps the publishing house believes that many of its books could equally vie for such attention. That may be true, but I cannot think there could be one better than Blaggard’s Moon. The publisher  would do well to take a serious look at what could be done to bring this book to the attention of the reading community. I don’t think it would take a lot; once discovered, word of mouth surely will do the rest.

The author and publisher are not the only factors in the promotion of such a book. There are other influential causes: Blogs and websites whose purpose is to bring attention to good Christian works. Other (well-known and respected) authors could take up the cause. Those who have already read it could do more to get the word out.

Why does it matter? A more pertinent question for me, an aspiring author, is why should I be concerned about the well-being of another’s work; don’t I have enough to handle as it is - trying to produce the best possible work given my time and talent, its publication, and most difficult of all, its marketing?

One might consider that if the general recognition and respect for modern Christian literary works were raised by one successful author (whatever his genre), it might bode well for others of similar aspiration. That might be true, but only possible if the hopeful beneficiaries are themselves exceptionally good writers – as Polivka is. And it is this latter point that is the single reason that makes the promotion of Blaggard’s Moon so reasonable and worthy. It is a novel in which the writing is a work of art. It is the exemplar of which many of us need to become familiar and by it learn the craft of writing.

For that reason, I intend to write a series of articles in which I will use Blaggard’s Moon to illustrate the principles of good writing and story crafting. The first two of these will appear as my second and third posting for the August 2010 Christian Fiction and Fantasy Blog tour.


  1. What you have asked has been asked by writer and publisher from the beginning of time. Why is it that mediocre authors sell millions of books and get lucrative movies deals, and master story tellers get overlooked again and again. There are some notable exceptions of course, but for the most part, talented writers live in unrelenting obscurity. I suppose that is the way it is in the publishing world. There can only be so many best-selling authors out there, and the rest of us have to fight it out at the lower levels. I suppose it takes a bit of luck, a high profile person who discovers your story, and a very good promotional campaign. Put into the mix audience approval in large numbers, and you become a best-selling author. Maybe it will be our turn one day. Thanks for bringing up some interesting thoughts.


  2. Thomas! What a coincidence. I'm featuring two books on my blog, and Blaggard's Moon is one of them. I absolutely was captivated by the story and the writing. It should be a should make the New York Times Bestsellers List!
    Glad you too are featuring it on your blog.

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  4. Blaggard's Moon is a work of art but it is also a rip-roarin' good tale. It should be a best seller on some list, any list. It should be nominated for awards.

    I wish we in CSFF had bigger voices. We featured this book and gave it very good reviews, as we did an earlier Polivka book.

    But as you said, Thomas, in this day and age it seems someone has to be a consistent voice promoting the book for at least its early life. Our three days just makes a ripple in the marketing pool. If that ripple would only expand outward!