Monday, October 22, 2012

Sexuality and Women's Changing Needs: Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey; Nonfiction

Because there are fifty contributing writers in the nonfiction book "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey," the advanced book promotion has been interesting. There's isn't one set web site or blog to get pre-release information. What's been happening is something I've been seeing more of on the Internet: social media promotion.

In other words, the majority of informational posts about "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey" have been through twitter and facebook. Of course contributing authors like me are also posting on our web sites, but mostly it's been all about fast, interactive social media. As a side note, this book isn't the only change I've seen recently with regard to this subject. More and more people in general seem to be casting long individual blog posts aside for longer status updates on facebook to share their information. Makes me wonder if twitter will eventually lengthen their 142 character limit for updates.

In any event, this post isn't about social media. It's about what's been happening with "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey." I'm going to post a longer excerpt from my essay as we get closer to a publication date. But right now I'm linking to the FWoFSoG facebook fan page where a new quote from the book is posted daily. I think that's a nice way to market, and kudos to Bella Books for coming up with informative marketing tools that aren't in your face or obnoxious. It's fast information, we all get the point, and it focuses on the important aspects of the book without spoilers.

The latest daily quote is about women's sexual needs and how they may or may not have changed over the years. From my own POV in the m/m/gay fiction genre, I get private e-mails all the time from women readers who discuss this topic in a general sense.

Here's the latest quote from FWoFSoG, by author Heather Graham:

“In the past few decades the role of women in our culture has changed more drastically than in centuries before. Or let me say—the roles we show to the world have changed. Have our basic needs and desires changed on a purely carnal level? Probably not. Women with sexual prowess existed as far back as the days we lived in caves, but until relatively recently we didn’t accept the idea of the wicked, wanton female as every man’s wife.” —Heather Graham “Fifty Shades of Woman”

This was Friday's quote, by author Rakesh Satyal:

Today's FIFTY DAYS OF FIFTY SHADES quote: “The student/teacher relationship is one that has appeared in art from time immemorial (paging Socrates!), but in pitting Ana as a finals-studying coed against the willful, angerous, punitive power of business magnate Christian Grey, James makes explicit the steamy pedagogy that piques the fantasies of many a fledgling academic, while avoiding the creep factor that would define a similar relationship written about a high school student and educator.

"After all, college is the real sexual awakening for many people.” —
Rakesh Satyal, "Crass Is in Session"

I think "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey" is going to be an interesting way for readers and other authors to see how others interpreted FSoG as fiction, and as a huge runaway bestseller that no one ever expected to take off. There's really no explanation as to why some books become big like this, and it doesn't happen that often, but at least in this book of essays about FSoG I've been finding explanations I wouldn't have come up with on my own.

The quotes will be updated daily on the facebook page I linked to above, so if you click like you'll be able to see what's happening and how other people are reacting. I'm not going to say, "Click LIKE for this page." I hate that. I really do. I never do it. But in this case, being that FSoG the novel has sparked so much discussion the non fiction book, "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey," is an interesting page to follow to see where people are going with this topic. I have no doubt that the minute I share this blog post on other social media I'm going to get comments from people who both loved and hated FSoG. And there's nothing wrong with that, because "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey" is a bipartisan book. I like books that spark any kind of discussion because that means they hit a nerve somewhere and that doesn't happen all the time. 

There's going to be a give-away contest from the publisher that I'll post about when I get more information. I'm also trying to come up with my own give-away, which I don't do often. I'm just waiting to see how they will be distributing the books. I'd rather do a digital give-away because my readers are almost exclusively e-book readers, but it might have to be print. I'll post more about that, too.   

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