When authors get hit with the stupid stick

Ok, I have an outrage going on and am in quite a mood. I’m talking about this article about some imbecile (I refuse to call him a writer or author because they know better) who staged a fake kidnapping to sell his book. It seems he thought it would be “great press” to stage a fake kidnapping of agent’s children in order to get their attention. From the article:

But that was just the beginning. Davis staged and filmed a kidnapping (“I checked with a lawyer first to make sure I wouldn’t get in trouble”) to post on the website, then sent an e-mail to a wide variety of agents. It began: “By the time you receive this, I will have already kidnapped your child.”

Please excuse the vulgarity (especially you, Mom), but WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? I’ll tell you one thing – had he written me, he’d be hearing from my lawyer AND the FBI. And furthermore, I’d have to think twice about any publisher who would sign this fool.

Dear, dear authors…resorting to trickery – and in this case scaring the stuffing out of agents – is NOT how you sell a book. If anything, it might earn you a visit from your local constabulary.

Avoid the stupid stick because when your stunt gets publicized, it will most likely not garner the reaction you were hoping for. Instead of being famous, you be infamous, laughed at, fingers pointing in your direction from mothers who tell their children, who are recoiling in horror, “See, honey? That’s what an idiot looks like.” Rather, rely on your talent as a writer because readers aren’t dumb. They’ll see through the “Authorpreneur” pranks and rip your book to shreds.

It’s a dicey thing to let your promotion outshine your talents. Or in this case, creating palpable fear. This man is detestable, sick, and twisted for threatening agents to publish his book within 90 days, or they’d never see their kids again. It’s obvious that when the stupid stick came around his street, he stood in front of it, screaming, “ME! ME!”

17 Responses to When authors get hit with the stupid stick

  1. OMG…I have no words…

  2. Oh dear God, just when you think that people cannot get any more stupid… In this man’s case, not only stupid, but downright nasty. This has made me so angry. How can he think this is in any way acceptable behaviour?

  3. NinjaFingers says:

    …I am beyond words.

  4. elysemady says:

    Forget the stupid stick. This twit was hit with the whole darn forest!

  5. I fear that you’re right, Elyse. Somewhere a village is missing its idiot.

  6. DenyseLoeb says:

    The sad thing is he got offers, so you know it will encourage others to be just as stupid. *sigh*

  7. Oh my freaking Gawd.

  8. OK, I read the article as well, and I’m shaking my head in frustration and sadness. The article makes it sound like this hare-brained scheme is delivering results.

    The bloke claims: “The most important thing for any novelist these days is to stand out, to attract attention.”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I’d say the most important thing is to make your writing stand out and attract the *right* kind of attention.

  9. Lev Raphael says:

    Lynn, it’s outrageous and beneath contempt! Which means he will generate news coverage somewhere and might even get a book deal out of it if there’s enough media attention. Idiocy can take you very far in this culture.

  10. awparker says:

    Idiocy might take him far, but it is a one time trip. If his writing is not good and his book does not warrant the attention, his next book will certainly fail.

    No worries people, the village will have their idiot shortly.

  11. Ludmilla Bollow says:

    First thing I thought, when reading– is there any legal punishment for this type of scare? Has anyone brought criminal charges against him? Be interested in the outcome, which might thwart other copycat authors?


  12. DenyseLoeb: He is published by a two-bit POD publisher who lacks the ability to get books to market. Their sales on all their books are in the single and lower double digit range. I think they were made for each other.

    Lev: He may generate attention, but not in a good way. You do NOT mess with the minds of people and threaten to kill their children.

    Ludmilla: The FBI should have been called, and I hope the publicity that’s being generated right now results in catching some Fibby’s attention. I’m still seething.

  13. Lauren says:

    OMG, I’m not a parent but this made me sick to my stomach. The fact that he thinks nothing is wrong with what he did scares the hell out of me. And as DenyseLoeb pointed out, others will surely follow with even higher levels of terror-inducing ideas. What, what, what is the world coming to?

  14. kimkircher says:

    Eek. Getting into your character is one thing, this is just wrong. Hate to see what kind of promo plan he comes up with for his murder mystery.

  15. […] Lynn Price, editorial director for Behler Publications  gives her opinion on this stunt from her side of the publishing industry on her blog post:  When authors get hit with the stupid stick. […]

  16. Arlee Bird says:

    When I first heard about the story I expected a whole lot worse. It’s definitely a really dumb idea that must have sprung from desperation on behalf of the author. If he ends up in the top ten of the NY Times bestseller list then I might rethink his approach, but so far he’s not even hit 3 million on the Amazon sales ranking. I wonder if he could come up with a dumber idea for his next book?

    Tossing It Out

  17. I have little doubt he could come up with something dumber and crueler for his next book. For now, I think terrible sales and no distribution is a fitting justice for one so lacking in firing synapses and empathy.

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