All publicity is good publicity.
I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase often. The argument is that any kind of publicity that draws attention to the person or event or what-have-you is good, regardless of whether it’s something scandalous or something actually good. I find myself in disagreement with this.
I would only want to be known for good things. I don’t want people to be interested in me or my book just because I did something really bad or aggravated a lot of people with my words and antics. I feel that it would hurt me more than do me any good. Why be notorious when you can just be famous?
In my previous post, I spoke of a number of authors who got caught using fake accounts to submit flattering reviews to their books, bash other writers or else paying others to give them positive reviews. I thought that that would discredit these authors for sure, and people might be less inclined to buy their books, but my fiancé disagrees. He thinks that a thing like this might actually make people buy their books even more to see if they were as good as their authors claimed. Personally, however, I would want to stay as far away as possible from them.
That’s but one example of bad publicity. Another example involves Fifty Shades of Grey, a novel widely criticized for its lack of literary merits and its raunchy sex scenes and abuse of women. Sure, E.L.James may have raked in money because of this book, but she will also be forever known as the lady who doesn’t know how to write. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I sure don’t want to be stuck with that title!
It’s not just books and authors, of course. It seems like everyone seeks to garner some attention by doing the strangest of things, even if they end up destroying their public image while doing so. The common mindset seems to be, “Hey, at least they know me!” Frankly I’d be happy to remain obscure rather than be known due to a drug addiction or a scandalous relationship with someone.
I don’t want to be known for being a lousy writer, or someone with no imagination, or someone who blackmails people into giving her reviews, or someone who writes cardboard characters with no backbone, or someone who likes posts on WordPress without even reading them so people would come and check out my blog. I want to be known for being a decent person, a good writer (hopefully) and an overall awesome person (ha! I wish).
What do you think? Is there any such thing as bad publicity, or am I just trying to kid myself here?