At the YMCA today after my Nia class, I spoke with a woman who did what may be the most blatant self-promotion I've ever heard of, and she was apparently successful with it. She wants to publish a book on wildflowers of a certain country (I won't mention details, as I don't want to diss her online.) So she held a fund raising party for herself, charging $20 admission to help her pay her publication expenses upfront. She says most of the profit will go to a charity after she makes back her own expenses, but of course that will be a long way down the road. Yet 75 people came, and she also had a silent auction with over 20 donated items, which made her still more money.
Apparently this book (which will be illustrated with color photographs) will be produced by a publisher that specializes in this kind of deal. Has anyone ever heard of this? I was thinking of going, but when I got her e-mail invitation, I balked at the $20 admission, and it turned out I was busy anyway. Today I asked her how it had gone, expecting her to say it bombed out, and I was amazed at what she told me. In her other life, she's a psychotherapist. I told her this was so amazing that I wanted to post it to my online writing community, and she was fine with that.