An early twenty year old man who is a friend of mine’s son, who is in college but just came home for the summer said to me, ” My brothas and sistas loves da way you gots da story going. It’s real. Ain’t none o’ dat phoney sh*t. My fam loves this. This is tight. I’m gonna help you pimp your books. Mrs. W.”
All I should do was stare at him for I’ve never been good with slang. I stared a few seconds before asking him to clarify himself. Exactly what does he plan to do with my book? I mean I can’t dictate what someone does with it once they buy it. But I had no idea what pimping a book meant. He laughed and said. “My friends at school loved it. We put up flyers for you in the UCLA Student Civic Center billboard.”
His mother swatted at him and said, “Why didn’t you say that to begin with? You had Alma thinking you and your group intended to do something horrible to her books.”
He argued that why couldn’t authors be allowed to say how great their work is. Everyone else does it. Every commercial on television or internet where a product is being sold, the seller and manufacturer is speaking of how great it is. But no one says anything but the moment an author say their book is good the backlash is they are tooting their own horn. He asked how will anyone know how good it is if you aren’t allowed to tell them. He explained in this fast moving age you only get five seconds to get someone attention.
I then had to ask him what caught him and his friends’ attentions?
He said that spooky black cover with the last of the daylight filtering through the trees . Everyone have imagined what if your car breaks down on a lone back road like that and it’s almost dark. What kind of weirdo might come alone or be on those back roads.
I had never thought of marketing as ‘pimping’ but in a way I guess it is. And I admit, he had a point. How will anyone know if you aren’t allowed to tell them?