I wrote yesterday about how much I enjoyed comedian Michael Ian Black‘s picture books and, as I browsed the YouTube channel of Black’s publisher, Simon and Schuster, last night, it quickly became apparent to me why ANY publisher would want to have an established comedian as one of their authors – they’re INSANELY good at promoting themselves. Sure, the comedian needs to be good writer, first and foremost, but, if the book is good, the publisher also inherits this wonderful promotional partner, a partner who is really skilled at getting in front of a camera or a crowd and engaging audiences.
Self-promotion skills seem to be a pre-requisite for ANY up-and-coming author nowadays – they’ve got to start their own websites, establish their own social media presence, go on self-funded tours, etc. – but, when you’ve got a performer like Black, who’s had decades of experience at selling people on his persona, you really start to appreciate how valuable it must be to a publisher to have someone this funny trying to sell your books for you.
That’s all a very long-winded way of saying – check out these extremely funny videos Black made to promote The Purple Kangaroo. The first has a kangaroo-costumed Black reading his book and the second is a hysterical look into the creation of the picture book, in which Black plays up his loveable d-bag on-stage persona and wonderfully torments illustrator Peter Brown. Enjoy.