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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Putting the “Sell” in “Celebrity” by Jennie Lucas

Here is the image I saw, in a huge billboard size, every time I looked out of my window at the Hyatt Regency at last month’s National RWA conference in Dallas.

Jennifer Aniston and her SmartWater®.

Jen’s not the only one cashing in. Sally Field is worried about your bones breaking without Boniva. Sarah Jessica Parker really wants you to color your hair in Nutrisse. Gwyneth Paltrow is dancing through meadows to convince you to buy all your fragrances from Estee Lauder.

It’s not just Hollywood, either. Have you checked out the world of sports? The L.A. Kings skate in the Staples Center, the Cleveland Cavs bounce their balls at the Quicken Loans Arena. Not to mention college football bowls—what would the holiday season be without the Meineke Car Care® Bowl, the Chick-Fil-A® Bowl and my own beloved Tostitos® Fiesta Bowl?

It got me thinking. Is it possible that we romance writers have a vast untapped income source?

I say, it’s about time we got some corporate sponsorship!

Imagine the possibilities:

RWA’s Golden Heart Award could link up with a cholesterol-lowering drug to become the Lipitor® Golden Heart Award.

The RITA could be sponsored by America’s best-selling brand of flavored tortilla chips to become the Frito-Lay DORITA.

But why should we let RWA make all the sweet deals? Authors, let’s seize the day!

Titles can be so difficult, and let’s face it—half the time, our editors don’t keep our titles anyway! So why not tinker a bit since there’s money to be had? For instance:

--A paranormal entitled The Vampire’s Kiss could be changed to The Vampire’s Hershey’s Kiss®.

--A lush medieval called The Knight Takes a Princess could be easily altered—presto chango!—to The Knight Takes a Princess Cruise®.

--A sexy erotica called Her Secret Garden is changed with no trouble at all to Her Secret Olive Garden®.

But wait. This is a good start, but we’re still leaving money on the table. How about product placement?

I can just see it now…

“Kiss me,” she whispered.

“Yes,” he growled. “I’ve waited long enough.” But as he lowered his mouth to hers, she stopped him with a sudden intake of breath.

“You forgot this,” she said, handing him a small tube.

He frowned. “ChapStick®?”

“Yes,” she murmured with a sigh. “It’s on sale this week at Target®.”

Sure, we’re writers who believe in our craft and are passionate about the stories we tell. Maybe that’s the problem. Hey, if selling out is good enough for movie actors and sports teams, why not us?

So let’s forget this “starving artist” business. Corporate sponsorship, endorsements and product placement are the wave of the future. It's synergy. It's thinking beyond the box. It' We’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, baby. To the bank!


At 10:54 AM, Blogger charleneteglia said...

A knight on a cruise ship. BWAHAHA! *writing it down*

At 10:56 AM, Blogger MaryF said...


At 1:13 PM, Blogger Janet Mullany said...

It's been done! Fay Weldon wrote a book endorsed by Bulgari, called (surprise!) The Bulgari Connection. It created something of an uproar. Even more interestingly, according to her bio she is/was writer-in-residence at the Savoy Hotel, London. Not a surprise that she began her career as a copywriter for an ad agency.

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

Thanks, Charlene and Mary!

And Janet, I think I heard of that book! Bulgari? That sounds genius! And wow, a writer-in-residence at the Savoy? That sounds even more amazing than J.K. Rowling finishing the last Harry Potter at the Balmoral in Edinburgh. Obviously these are authors who aren't digging through their pockets to find change for a cup of coffee.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger bridget said...

Now why exactly did you seem to think we at the RWA would be a natural match with a cholesterol-lowering drug?? Are you implying something about our chocolate intake?? *g*

At 8:03 PM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

These titles had me howling!

In the book "Confessions of a SuperMom," she got her miraculous cleaning powers from a Swiffer accident. Apparently Swiffer did some book promotion for her.


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