Here's the article with the link to the youtube video if you missed the story.
Not many people stopped to listen, or even recognized the man who is arguably the world's foremost violin player. WaPo reporters deemed this an indication of the declining moral fiber of America, or something.
Well, anyone who rides the subways as I do can tell you that why not many people paused is not a reflection of declining moral fiber (for that you have to look at the FoxNews Nielson numbers). It's a reflection of timing; theirs sucked. Most street/subway buskers play in the afternoon, and at night.
For proof that people stand and listen to musicians, herewith a photo from the Union Square subway taken just this evening. Three piece ensemble: horn, tuba, drumset. They were having some serious fun, as were the 25 people standing nearby.
Timing is all. These guys placed themselves on a platform where people stand and wait, and they did it when people weren't rushing.
Timing is a critical part of promotion for books. Too early on all your pr, and books aren't in the stores yet (I've seen that happen). Too late and people aren't really interested in a book published "a while ago".
So imagine what it must be like to achieve a lifetime dream of having a novel picked up by an agent, sold to Dutton, all set to be published on 1/29/08 ... only to find out you have cancer. Aggressive cancer. Cancer that must be treated NOW. Book pr takes a back seat of course; but there's no replacing that first solid pr effort for a novel.
That is happening right now to Patry Francis. Her novel The Liar's Diary is due out on 1/29. She's not going to be up to the task of promotion.
Some of her friends got a bright idea. "Let's use the power of the collective to make sure this book doesn't fall through the cracks."
Let's have a talk about Patry Francis day on 1/29/08.
So, you're going to see a lot about her on that day. If you're a blogger, you may want to pitch in. If you're a reader, you may want to buy the book. If you're a library user, you might want to mention it to your librarian.
Even if you're the best violinist in the world, you need to be in the right place at the right time. Our collective action can move Patry Francis to right spot for her book to get the attention it needs at the right time.
Pretty cool isn't it?