I love wordplay. My family and friends expect me to make the most horrendous puns at the drop of an opportunity. Paronomasia brought my husband and me together, that and a vast amount of trivial knowledge we used on line to win trivia games. So altering a statement to get a laugh is one of those things I enjoy. As did Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde and Dickens. For example, when I think about books, I touch my shelf.
Over the last week or so, I was helping a friend by feeding and watering his aviary birds. I ventured into the house to use the facilities. I can write that he has a 40-inch television in his bathroom. And that’s true. But the TV is there because they had a bathroom upstairs burst a pipe and flood until the floor and ceiling opened to let the water cascade into the living room, den, and dining room. I can’t imagine what it is costing him to have that beautiful hardwood flooring ripped out, the walls replaced from halfway down, plus having to board their dog out and live in just the upstairs rooms until the work is done. My statement about the TV in the bathroom doesn’t touch on any of that.
Propaganda has existed almost as long as there have been people and language. Interestingly enough, the term was first associated with the Catholic Church in Europe around 1622. The popes put forth a commission for the Propagation of the Faith in heathen lands. A College of Propaganda sprang up after that, to train priests. So if you thought Propaganda only associated with wars and governments in modern eras, now you know better. And long before the term was used, the idea and concept existed.
Marketing books often delves into propaganda and puns and altered statements. I love Regencies that have titles like, What a Difference a Duke Makes. My favorite title punner is Sarah MacLean. A Scot in the Dark, One Good Earl Deserves a Lover, The Rogue Not Taken, and Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover. Hope over to Book Riot and see how the leading ad sells a book titled As Long as We Both Shall Live. Or if it changes by the time you read this, check out whatever is being applied. A picture of the hardcover with dust jacket is in the middle. Simple, a white background and two plain wedding bands in gold. To the left is a graphic about loving someone and still wanting to kill them. The sentiment is on black with red splotches that are intended, I think, to be blood. To the right is the book title for a second time and a quote from the blog reviewers. The term “page turner” is the main selling point, that you will not want to put it down. The last thing on the right bottom is the buy link. Well done.
On Amazon, the book ranks 379 in Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense. The reviews average 4 stars and one person noted it’s a dark story but still an entertaining read. The novel is a new release, so it’s not surprising that there are only 11 reviews. Ms. Chaney has one prior novel, also an M-T-S but with different characters. What, no sequel? Perhaps she’ll get on board with that trend next time.
Now, go on to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, a blog for Romance fans, and look for differences in how those novels are being promoted. These run down the right side on a laptop or desktop, not sure how it would show on a phone. You’ll see instantly that the covers have people on them, not usually objects. Sometimes there’s a near-naked man, sometimes a woman in a pose of come-hither-ness, and occasionally a couple. The fonts vary by genre and sub-genre, the colors hint at the content, and the titles, as noted above, can be funny or moody.
I guess what I want to say here is that words have a lot of power, from lightening a mood through playfulness to making a statement about how serious you will take the novels being advertised to you. Just some things to think about and find a way to point that out to your friends. Then hit them with a good pun. Of course, that is non-existent. But this one is close: Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me? Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday