With my new book “Seven Days of Rage” coming out Tuesday, September 15th, the same day as Dan Brown’s follow-up to “The DaVinci Code,” I knew I had a marketing problem. So I thought to myself, what would Don Draper do? So, at least in my dreams, I went to see dapper Don of AMC’s “Mad Men” fame.
Draper ushered me into his office at Sterling, Cooper, and walked over to his bar.
“What are you drinking?” he asked.
“It’s 10 in the morning, Don.”
He looked at me with a slight smile on his face. Then put down his cigarette and poured himself a tumbler of Maker’s Mark.
“So,” he said, “What can I do for you?”
I explained about Dan Brown’s book, destined to be a bestseller, coming out the same day as my new book on the Craigslist Killer case. What could I do to make my book get at least a little bit of attention?
“You say everyone is going to read this guy Dan Brown’s book?”
“Yes, millions of people.”
“And what’s it about?
I started talking about the Freemasons and the DaVinci code but I could see I was losing Draper. He looked at his watch.
“Listen,” he said, “I’ve got an appointment downtown in a bit so let’s boil this down, okay?”
“Okay, the way I see it, you’ve got two things going for you. Your book is real and his is a fake, right. Some story this Brown guy made up. Who really wants to read about Freemasons? I don’t even know what they are, do you?
“So your book is real. You got to use that. Who wants to read a made-up story when they can read about something that really happened?”
“I see your point.”
He got a faraway look in his eye and blew a stream of cigarette smoke just above my head.
“And you say everyone is going to read his fake book? Then you should position your book differently. Your readers are not some fantasy-seekers desperate to be part of the crowd, the great unwashed. The person who reads a Paul LaRosa book is a renegade, an independent, a person who stands out from his fellow man. He’s not willing to follow the lemmings around him. He’s a man who knows his mind no matter where it takes him. And he wants reality, not some half-baked tale about a group of guys wearing Fez hats.”
Draper looked in my direction again.
“Do you follow me?”
“Yeah, I guess I do.”
“Good because I have to go, Give my girl your number and if I think of anything else, I’ll call.”
And with that, he was gone.