s a writer, you run a big risk if you are going to make a political statement in your book. Since politics tend to come down to one side or another and they usually break down 50/50 (as the sides grab up all the undeclared that they can (and cantankerous people such as myself naturally gravitate to the underdogs)), you’ll pretty much piss off half your potential market. Of course, you could come off as the darling of your side but you’ll also be cast as a dickhead by everyone else.
I got this the other night – I was hunting around a local bookstore (a chain, not an independent) and saw a book titled “Great Political thoughts of” followed by my contextual belief system. Curious, I opened it up and found it contained nothing but blank pages. Wah wah waaaaah, as the saxophone says.
I’ve read a couple of books that came out insultingly opposed to my views. And it’s not that they propose alternative ideas or show the errors in my ways. It’s that they set up the other side as straw men (meaning the opposing sorts have simplistic viewpoints that make them easy to hate) which really pisses me off. Saw this in Live Free or Die, in which the hero is a strong fellow standing against an alien invasion and he doesn’t care that part of the country might be obliterated since it contains people from the other political side. Michael Crichton did the same stunt in one of his novels, where the straw man is a sniveling coward who is eventually eaten by the indigenous people he ineptly champions. I mean, at least when Carl Hiaasen does it, his straw men are racist bigot tire-biters and low life city scum. After all, what’s not to hate?
So, yes, there is a danger in alienating readers. In this case, while looking at this blank book and its drool one-pony trick, there was only one thing I could do. I put it back on the shelf where I’d gotten it. Upside down. And backwards. Let’s see any passing people take an interest in the casual glance game that shelf-selling is all about.
So don’t piss me off.
>>>AND EVEN THOUGH I PISS A LOT OF YOU OFF, MY BOOKS ARE ONLY ONLINE, SO NO SHELF-STUNTS. I SUPPOSE YOU COULD GIVE ME A BAD REVIEW. WELL, MY SALES WOULDN’T BE HURT THAT BADLY, I ASSUME. OR YOU COULD BE MY PAL AND JUST BUY ONE. FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE SALES PAGE!<<<