Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Is Product Placement Selling Out?
Image via Wikipedia
It has not been unknown for authors to write products or corporate concepts into their works in return for something else. Movies and TV do this all the time. It's not a coincidence that the judges on American Idol are all drinking out of Coca-Cola cups.
What about writing? Is it okay to sell promotional considerations--or advertising if you will--to make extra money from your written product? If when you were ready to write your next book, some business entity offered you a thousand dollars to place product into your story would you do it? What about ten thousand dollars? Fifty? What is your breaking point? Some authors have made some good money doing this. Would you do it?
What if the placement included something in the cover art work? Let's say that a top notch artist would be doing the cover of your book and it would look really good. And you were going to be paid a nice sum to allow product to appear on your cover. Would it belittle the writing to accept?
What if your publisher's terms required you to accept product placement that they were paid for and not you? But--they guaranteed you huge sales? Or they at least offered you distribution? Does this seem kind of tacky to you or just business?
I don't know if this is still a practice, but I can recall seeing books with advertising in the center of the book--kind of a commercial break between parts. Would it bother you if your book was manufactured like that?
This is part of my interest in marketing versus art. Is the integrity of art sullied by commercial connections? Why or why not?
What is better having a wealthy patron fund you? Or getting funded by government grants? If you had the opportunity, would you quit your job to receive the same pay and benefits in order to write full time? Dream job or scary offer?
Just tossing it out to you. Now play along and toss it back.