marketing versus scholarship
September 6, 2007 Leave a comment
I once said some kneejerk-leftist thing against marketing to a girlfriend in college. I’d forgotten that her mother worked for the marketing department of a book publisher. Smooth move, BK.
I am now pro-marketing in the abstract, but real-life marketing people sure do make it hard to champion their profession.
In my previous career, I met hundreds of marketing people. I liked maybe … oh, I don’t know. Some small number. Something single-digit. The least egregious were the pure number crunchers. Many of them had real minds and real lives. It was the “creative” people who typified all the marketing stereotypes, including shallowness and agnorance.
Professional authors in particular should be wary of knee-jerk sentiments against marketing. If nobody buys your books, you’d better learn to love your day job. But the marketers practically insist on insulting everyone‘s intelligence. Case in point: what’s wrong with the following book’s title?
The phobia of Eurocentrists is best captured in the subtitle of a recent book on naval battle in antiquity. Barry Strauss’ The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece – and Western Civilization is a good book, where the author himself negates the very same idea that is presented in the subtitle. I wonder how much the publisher was involved in the creation of this title to sell the book to an audience in bookstores across America.