Using humor to promote a novel can get through to readers who are bored with the usual "Love me, love my book" approach. People remember you when you make them laugh, and they generally appreciate you for it, too.
Here's a letter I wrote for Borders Group, Inc., which was supposed to be published in one of their May e-mail reader monthly newsletters (have no idea if it was, actually):
I loved reading comic books when I was a kid, and often had a crush on some larger-than-life figure whose job it was to save the world. I'm pretty sure that I spent most of the sixth grade writing “Lynn + Aquaman” inside little hearts in my notebook.
As I got older, however, I realized that what makes a great hero would probably make him a lousy boyfriend. For example:
1. Batman: only wants to play with his gadgets.
2. Captain America: refuses to wear anything that isn’t red, white and blue.
3. Iron Man: can’t take long romantic walks in the rain.
4. Spiderman: always picks fights with your exterminator.
5. Superman: faster than a speeding bullet? Pass.
6. The Incredible Hulk: always looks queasy or jealous.
7. Wolverine: Cuddling shouldn’t require a trip to the E.R. afterward.
In my novel “Night Lost,” the hero, Gabriel Seran, belongs to the Darkyn, my vampire-like immortals who have unusual psychic powers. If you don’t think a vampire would make a good boyfriend, consider this:
He won’t mind if you have a day job.
He never has garlic breath.
He doesn’t need to rent a costume for your Halloween party.
You don’t have to worry about what to make him for dinner.
Vampires may not be traditional heroes, but they certainly keep things interesting for me. I hope this month that you’ll pick up a copy of “Night Lost” and discover a whole new breed of hero: one who just might keep you occupied all through the night.
Besides climbing onto my little soapbox and making the case for other-than-traditional heroes, I felt more comfortable writing a mild parody about superheroes than blathering on and on about my novel. It may seem like a waste of publicity space to the purists, but I think my letter has a better chance of establishing rapport with a reader versys the author who writes the typical phony I'm SURE you'll love reading my WONDERFUL novel as much as I ADORED writing it for you, tee-hee!
Besides, I already know that you'll love reading my wonderful novel. :)
That's all from my corner of publishing this week. Are there any questions out there for me?