Prancercise: The WTF of self publishing

I came across Johanna Rohrback’s Prancercise video on youtube yesterday, most likely as did 99,73% of the rest of the Earth’s population. It appears to have surged through the collective consciousness much like the arrival of an alien starship hovering over Washington DC. I am certainly left wondering if aliens have played some horrible joke on us by unleashing the material that will lead humanity in droves to prance around parks and sidewalks, at least for the next 92 seconds that this current fad manages to capture our microscopic attention spans.

I am not going to comment on the value of the workout that Mrs. Rorhback proposes. After participating in high performance sports for more than 25 years, I will simply say that it isn’t something I’d be doing. Neither am I going to comment on the public’s reaction to it. This is being documented far better than I care to in other places.

The cover to the greatest work of PR ever. This week.

I will take a moment to speak about how this phenomenon applies to self-publishing. A quick look at Amazon’s Prancercise page shows that the book is published by Wingspan press, a self-publishing site. I don’t know if the youtube video is part of their marketing campaign or not, but there certainly are a lot of eyeballs glued to it. Over 2,7 million views. Crazy! I’d wager that the author would make more off of a monetized video than any book sales, unless people start buying the book to offer it as a prank gift.

The book reviews on Amazon are worth taking a moment to read as well. There are some very creative reviews. Clearly, they are meant as parodies or designed to poke fun at the book, but many have left me chuckling or even laughing myself to tears.

It will be interesting to see what happens to this book in terms of sales. Maybe I need to take some inspiration from Mrs. Rohrback’s approach and come up with something completely ludicrous to market my book. Hmmm…maybe this is an excuse to do what I’ve always wanted: film plop on some Elf ears, let my hair (what’s left of it) grow way out, and film myself dancing, shooting bows and arrows, and baking cookies or extolling the virtues of lembas bread (once I make my mind up whether I am a Wood Elf, or Keebler Elf) !


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