Cross-Marketing Miscalculations

Yesterday I talked about filling out the art fact sheet so Carina can design the cover for Rogue’s Pawn. After I finished the blog post, I got serious and finished the fact sheet. (And yes, I totally included the talon pic – make of that what you will, cover artist!) I included a bunch of other images, too, trying to select the ones I thought would convey the right feel.

When I described my heroine, I pulled some text from the story, but I also mentioned she frequently wears this black Ann Taylor cocktail dress, because it’s what she had on when she was accidentally transported to Faerie. It becomes her sorceress dress. I toyed with sending an image of it – even got so far as opening the Ann Taylor website (always dangerous) – and changed my mind.

Not that I don’t know exactly what the dress looks like. I do. I have this dress.

See, when I first started writing this book years ago, for the opening cocktail party scene, I dressed my heroine in my favorite outfit at the time. Yeah, it was a shortcut, but I’d also been writing nonfiction for so long that it was easier for me to ground the story in real life elements. Then the dress became kind of a shtick in the story and I started spinning all these writer fantasies about it, you know how we do.

I had this idea that I would wear the dress to signings and panels. I imagined how people would recognize it from the book and be pleased and entertained. There may have been even a few improbable scenarios where the Ann Taylor people called me up and proposed glamorous cross-marketing campaigns that involved giving me lots of free clothes.

Hey, a girl can dream.

Never mind if my concept of cross-marketing more closely resembles self-aggrandizement.

The problem, besides being a highly unlikely idea, is that the dress in question is now sadly out of style. So far out of style that I actually haven’t worn it in probably three years. My mother is rolling her eyes at me for having it in my closet still. I should probably get rid of it, but I’ve kept it all this time, for when the book would be published, like a talisman.

And now, the book is entering the world and the dress needs to be retired. My heroine is wearing a different dress, one that you all will imagine when you read it. I’m not going to tell you what it used to look like. Instead of being a past dress, it will become a present and future dress.

There’s something magical about that.