Putting the “Sell” in “Celebrity” by Jennie LucasHere is the image I saw, in a huge billboard size, every time I looked out of my window at the Hyatt Regency at last month’s National RWA conference in
Jennifer Aniston and her SmartWater®.
Jen’s not the only one cashing in. Sally Field is worried about your bones breaking without Boniva. Sarah Jessica Parker really wants you to color your hair in Nutrisse. Gwyneth Paltrow is dancing through meadows to convince you to buy all your fragrances from Estee Lauder.
It’s not just
It got me thinking. Is it possible that we romance writers have a vast untapped income source?
I say, it’s about time we got some corporate sponsorship!
Imagine the possibilities:
RWA’s Golden Heart Award could link up with a cholesterol-lowering drug to become the Lipitor® Golden Heart Award.
The RITA could be sponsored by
But why should we let RWA make all the sweet deals? Authors, let’s seize the day!
Titles can be so difficult, and let’s face it—half the time, our editors don’t keep our titles anyway! So why not tinker a bit since there’s money to be had? For instance:
--A paranormal entitled The Vampire’s Kiss could be changed to The Vampire’s Hershey’s Kiss®.
--A lush medieval called The Knight Takes a Princess could be easily altered—presto chango!—to The Knight Takes a Princess Cruise®.
--A sexy erotica called Her Secret Garden is changed with no trouble at all to Her Secret Olive Garden®.
But wait. This is a good start, but we’re still leaving money on the table. How about product placement?
I can just see it now…
“Kiss me,” she whispered.
“Yes,” he growled. “I’ve waited long enough.” But as he lowered his mouth to hers, she stopped him with a sudden intake of breath.
“You forgot this,” she said, handing him a small tube.
He frowned. “ChapStick®?”
“Yes,” she murmured with a sigh. “It’s on sale this week at Target®.”
Sure, we’re writers who believe in our craft and are passionate about the stories we tell. Maybe that’s the problem. Hey, if selling out is good enough for movie actors and sports teams, why not us?
So let’s forget this “starving artist” business. Corporate sponsorship, endorsements and product placement are the wave of the future. It's synergy. It's thinking beyond the box. It's...money. We’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, baby. To the bank!