The Way of the Word

13. June 2010

Workblog: Made of Fail – Sales Pitch

Today’s Made of Fail (Sales Pitch) is loosely based on a true story. Yes, really. As bizarre as it seems.

It was inspired by an article in a local daily newspaper. According to that article, a man had written (and apparently self-published, or published through a vanity press) a book with erotic stories. He was deeply in debt and figures that if he could sell 30,000 copies, he would be in the black.

The problem was that nobody was buying his book. Par for the course in self-publishing. So he decided to engage in some promotion.

His idea of promoting his book was to get in touch with the acquisitions dept. of a major German supermarket chain. He told them that unless they bought several thousand copies of his book to sell in their stores, he would inform the press of — honestly, I have forgotten what it was.  It was something utterly trivial that everyone already knows anyway. It was roughly on the level of the threat Craig uses in today’s strip.

Of course he was arrested. That was last year. Early this year, that man was tried in a local court and convicted.

To think that people wonder where I get my ideas…

A word about using S-Mart, which is probably trademarked by Sam Raimi. Yes, that’s the supermarket chain where Ash from the Evil Dead movies works. I used them once in season one, as a sign on a store window that Don walks past, as a little nod to the movies. I like them a lot. When I cast about for a name for the supermarket chain that Craig calls in today’s strip, I decided to use them again. I figure they are used to dealing with all kinds of morons, and I hope Sam Raimi won’t sue me. It’s meant in good fun.

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