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I Need to Join the Mafia

The day started out like any other…. I had dozens of emails to return, blogs to read, coffee to drink, tweets to ferret through – when suddenly it all came to a screeching halt. An author I had previously worked with (months prior) shot me an email that read simply: “The review hasn’t run yet, do you know why?”

Now, let me explain. This gal had a book we worked with earlier in the year. She was slightly, um, over-involved in the process asking dozens upon dozens of questions with every action we took. She exhausted many on the team with her endless questions but, to some degree you know, you can’t really blame her because it’s her book, her dream. She wants it to succeed. I totally get that. What I don’t get is crazy. I mean how does that happen? Does someone just flip a switch and voila! The crazy bug is out and running around like a maniac? Anyway so a large review organization had agreed to review her book, but like many review places and blogs in this industry they are all pretty busy. So time ticked by and no review. She wrote me and said “I’m emailing them, they owe me this!” No, sunshine, they don’t owe you anything and writing and hounding them won’t help your case but again, crazy had gotten loose and there was nothing I could do to reign it in. So I figured I’d let her email and I went on with my day.

Later that morning and, apparently, 40 emails back and forth later with the review source in question (yes, I’m sure they appreciated that) she found that no one there had heard of her book. She forwarded the string to me and was, to say the least, irate and insisted that I was a liar and fraudulently represented this potential review. “I want all my money back!!” she screamed in email.

So, here’s the thing. People will say they’ll do certain things and if they do, that’s great but if they don’t well, as they say: thems the brakes. It happens or it doesn’t. I am not magic and I am not in the mafia. I can share your book with people but I can’t force or coerce them to do anything with it. I can’t hold them at gunpoint, threaten to drown their puppy or kidnap their mother. I don’t have access to horse heads or other mob tactics. I’m just a publicist. Clearly though these days that might not be enough. Perhaps I should, in the words of Don Corleone, “make them an offer they can’t refuse.” Maybe then more authors will get the publicity they so desperately want. Publicity at gunpoint, yes, that’s the answer. Or not. I think I’ll keep my day-job, stay low-profile and leave the mob tactics to the movies or, you know, the author desperate for attention.