The joy of cross-promotion

It was very considerate, I thought, of Julia Gillard to time her election to coincide with the launch of my book about a student election. And given its theme of political ruthlessness, it was even more considerate of her to depose the elected Prime Minister in a palace coup a mere month before its release date. There’s nothing like a bit of cross-promotion to really give your product a boost. Sales of Comrades should receive a substantial boost, I reckon, and also of knives.

Since both Gillard and Tony Abbott are both former student politicians, with Abbott a former President of the Students’ Representative Council at Sydney University, which is the prize on offer at the end of the fictional election I’ve written about, it seemed like a dream marketing opportunity, especially since my colleagues at The Chaser are back on the ABC with an election show , for which I’m writing. But it seems I have a lot to learn when it comes to electoral cross-promotion.

I’ve done my best, but the poll-themed book that’s been making headlines is Campaign Ruby, by a certain Jessica Rudd. Its plot are remarkably close to the events of late June – a popular male Prime Minister is deposed by his ambitious female deputy. When you realise that she must have started work on it last year, it’s either spooky, or proof that this scenario has long been a topic for conversation around the Rudd family dinner table.

In fact, it makes me wonder whether Rudd and Gillard cooked up this whole backstabbing thing as a particularly sophisticated form of cross-promotion for Jessica’s book, and that Kevin will soon return to the fold, all having being forgiven. The launch is even being held on the day of the ALP Campaign Launch, and in the same town – Brisbane.

There are still two and a half weeks left of the election campaign, though, so all may not be lost. Clearly, I need a publicity stunt of my own. I could try to engineer a dramatic spill on the campus of Sydney University, but I’m not sure even the majority of students would care much about that. Perhaps I could get Tony Abbott to agree to another debate with Julia Gillard, about the merits of my book on a very special edition of First Tuesday Book Club?

But these are forlorn hopes. The best way to make headlines, of course, would be to usurp Jessica Rudd’s position. I’m not quite sure how to achieve that, but I’m sure Bill Shorten could give me a few ideas.

If I could somehow be acclaimed as the author of Campaign Ruby as well as Comrades, I would be unquestionably the nation’s premier author of election-related fiction released in August 2010.  And I have to admit, I thought that title would be mine automatically.

When I was an undergraduate, the Left managed to topple the right-wing SRC President because he’d handed out beer during his campaign, or something allegedly improper along those lines. And I bet Jessica Rudd will be handing out beer at her launch in Brisbane, just before election day. Stay tuned.

Last night, my competitor’s father attempted to heal the wounds others had inflicted on him in the course of a classy interview with Phillip Adams. He self-effacingly stated that there were more important things at stake in this election than the future of K Rudd. He’s right. And in my opinion, my book is one of them.

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