Brace yourself, Bridget, for truly the most unappealing idea of the day — week? month? millennium? According to Jane Ubell-Meyer, ‘known in the celebrity gifting world for over a decade’ (are there some words you fully expected never to type in a sentence?), according to Ms Ubell-Meyer, ‘The book publishing industry has an opportunity of a lifetime to tap into the millions of dollars available from corporate sponsorships. They just need to know how to do it.’
And, as a splendid example, she presents ‘a colleague of mine’ who published a diet book and ‘lined up a sponsorship deal with an apparel company that financed her nationwide tour.’ She doesn’t say, but I’m guessing the ‘apparel company’ (clothes, to you and me) made her wear everything one size too big, to emphasize how well the diet worked?
Or, another example, an ‘author’ (my scare quotes) who ‘lined up a deal with a major automotive car company, who not only gave her a hefty deal but also gifted her with a car.’ (Please note, not any old car company, but a major automotive car company: that’s really the best kind — the minor, un-automotive car companies completely suck. And note my heroic restraint in not commenting on ‘gift’ as a verb. I gift, you gift, he she or it gifts…)
But I digress. What, one wonders hungrily, did this author write about? A Mills and Boon, in which the previously frigid heroine finds herself weak with lust every time the tall dark hero opens the door to his Vauxhall Cavalier? A thriller in which the rogue CIA agent outwits the nefarious commie devils by nifty cornering in his vintage Chevy? Or a zany comedy with a suburban family finding the True Meaning of Life after little Johnny is not run over, thanks to the terrific braking of the Toyota?
Ms Ubell-Meyer continues. ‘The very first thing they should think about doing if they want to land a sponsorship deal, maybe even before they’ve written one word, is asking themselves “what is their PR & Marketing plan?”’ Jesus wept, if only I’d thought of that before I started this lark, I too could have a major car and new apparel.
But wait a minute, wait a minute, Ms U-M then warns me not to fly too high. ‘Go after the low-hanging fruit. There are many opportunities you could be missing out on if you don’t approach the second-tier companies first.’
Well damn it to hell, if I’m not getting a major automotive car, or only low-hanging apparel, I’m going to scrub the whole thing right here and now. Maybe I’ll just write books instead.