There’s an old saying in the publishing business:
The book before the brand.
It means you treat a book as a thing in itself (theories of deconstruction be damned), and you don’t start trying to create marketing opportunities out of a series of books that haven’t even been written yet, just because they’re going to be the next big thing.
It means, in the end, that you look at a text and think about it and try to get something out of it before you start promoting it, so that it feels important to get the word out there — you need to believe in what you’re promoting.
It’s very time consuming, and nobody actually does it, which is why I made up that old saying in frustration, sadness and smart-aleckry.
(This post was written on April 26th, 2012. It lingered in my blog’s drafts section for so long I figured, well, let’s bury it out in the open…)