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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

It Started Out As A Joke...

Honestly, it did. I set up a Facebook page several years ago to promote my writing. Please Allow Me, I called it. You may recognise the words from the Stones' Bulgakov-inspired classic, Sympathy for the Devil.
It was also the title of one of the collections of short stories I was promoting at the time. The other collection, loosely based on experiences in Cold War Berlin, also got the occasional plug. I confess it was all a very dilatory business, mainly due to the inordinately long time it took my novel Gibbous House to move from acceptance to publication.

When I realised, after publication, that I needed to promote the novel almost single-handed I began to try to boost Gibbous House's profile. However, being me, I was unable to remove my tongue from my cheek. Besides, my expectations were extremely low. This was one of my first posts post-publication on the Please Allow Me page:

This reached 453 people. Previous posts reached an average of 20 people. Now, of course, Please Allow Me's page does not have Bieber-like numbers, but it is a significant boost.

Please Allow Me now has a life and personality of his own. He lives in a fantasy world where he has invented the concept of Fakevertising (He has not), going so far as to invent a slogan for the entirely fictive Please Allow Me Inc. brand.

"Never Knowingly Oversold"

Never one to be discouraged, PAM has faked celebrity endorsements with looky likeys such as the infamous Brant Pidd Cricklewood Poster campaign pictured below. I believe this actually generated a visit to a local book-shop. Still, as PAM says, "If people will believe fake news, why shouldn't they believe Fake Advertising, or, as I like to call it, Fakevertising".

So far so predictable. I have found it exhilarating to put words in PAM's mouth, especially when it comes to discussing the merits - or otherwise - of Gibbous House. Equally satisfying is to disparage his efforts at promoting the novel. For they are feeble, how could they not be? I have absolutely no money with which to promote my book. So I make this token effort and hopefully make a few people laugh along the way. So, PAM is my "sock-puppet" of sorts, so if you meet him, have some sympathy and some taste. Not that he merits it, of course.
But PAM does have some integrity. He believes there should be truth in Fakevertising. So much so that this picture was captioned "Brant Pidd in Cricklewood", just so people knew that a certain Hollywood actor has absolutely no idea that a novel called Gibbous House, or indeed  a place called Cricklewood, even exists (Facebook reach count 329). 
Furthermore, PAM's latest assault on Mount Marketing, could not be more honest. The pages do turn in this latest multi-media marvel

Gibbous House is a page turner, maybe they don't turn as fast as this, but almost.

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