|Pictured: a non-copyrighted image of the theory's eponym|
I used three steps because of the rule of threes and three being the perfect number and all that, but really my point is that it’s a process. I can’t tell you how many pop songs I’ve hated at first, grown lukewarm to over time, and finally grown to love. It’s a simple process, really, and one that record companies love to take advantage of. All you have to do is hear a song enough times and it goes from being gross to being familiar to being pleasant.
I have the same thought on marketing my books. You may have noticed (at least I hope you have) that I’ve been writing a lot of guest blog posts and doing a bunch of interviews and things lately. You can see the whole slate all the way back to the beginning of time, for BRAINEATER JONES here and for THE GHOUL ARCHIPELAGO here. And the reason I’m doing that is not because I expect to pick up one or two new sales every time I pop up somewhere on the internet (although that would be nice.)
What I really think is going to happen is that the type of person who reads Charnel House Reviews will also read Feed the Zombie Children and possibly The Bookie Monster. So Smitty (for our purposes this imaginary reader will be called “Smitty”) sits down to his or her computer and the first time he sees BRAINEATER JONES he just scrolls past it. Scrolls right past it because who gives a shit? It doesn’t appeal to him in the least.
Then the second time Smitty sees BJ on some site he loves, maybe his hand hesitates on the mouse. Then by the third time he sees it he starts to think, “Hey, maybe there is something to this zombie detective novel after all” and he buys it.
You know why I think this will work**? Because of NOS4A2. In this case, I’m using myself as an example. I had no idea who Joe Hill was and had zero interest in this book the first time I heard about it. Maybe that makes me a terrible person and an even worse horror author, probably, I don’t know. But in any case by the time I had seen it a few hundred times (possibly literally) it occurred to me that maybe there was something to this NOS4A2 book. And thus was born the Katy Perry Theory, or, perhaps, more accurately, the Joe Hill Theory, but I’m not going to call it that because that purty picture of Katy Perry will probably drive more traffic to my blog. (No offense. I'm sure Joe is a perfectly handsome man. But you know what, bizarrely, is still my most popular post over two years later? Yeah, that one.)
*“turn the knob?” what the fuck is this, 1920s Alabama, Steve?
**obviously not any kind of scientific evidence