Tag Archives: marketing


When I was writing “Pink,” I wondered if anyone was selling blue-splashed items to promote awareness of prostate cancer. But symmetrical as the idea would be—and surely it had occurred to someone—I hadn’t noticed any. (Were you aware that September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? Me neither.)

Well, yes, it has occurred to someone that a campaign based on the color, if not the month, has potential. Today I saw that the Republic of Tea sells Blueberry Green Tea in a can with a blue stripe on it, and that a portion of the proceeds from this tea will be donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. I’m torn between observing that this is one of the few situations in which the women’s version of something has more publicity and is better funded, and reminding myself that this is hardly a competition.

Vampires + knitting

I’m not actually dissing the book I’m about to talk about. I haven’t read it, for one thing: it doesn’t come out until September 14. The few patterns I’ve seen have looked attractive, although I’m not likely to make any of them—I don’t wear many shawls or shrugs, my diaries all have very nice covers of their own and don’t need knitted covers, and my Ravelry queue is well into its second page, so it’s not like I need more projects in my life. Really, about the only criticism I can make is that I think the cover model’s lipstick is too garish, and that’s likely to be exactly the effect the photographer was trying to create. If this book is a hit, Genevieve Miller and her publisher have been savvy about the market and have no doubt earned their reward.

Vampire Knits

Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn by Genevieve Miller

Despite all those disclaimers, the whole concept behind the book irritates me. Mind you, I barely noticed the knitting books from a few years ago that featured a Harry Potter theme, and wouldn’t you think that was basically the same thing? But I don’t think that bothered me nearly so much because knitting was part of Rowling’s world, from the sweaters Molly Weasley was always knitting as gifts to Hermione’s magically-generated charitable knitting. (Clearly Hermione did not have a knitting temperament. I can’t imagine magical knitting is all that fun. Even with machine knitting, your hands touch the work.) So books that mixed Hogwarts with knitting weren’t bringing together two completely unrelated ideas. By contrast, no one has ever made a point of telling me that Bella is a knitter, so I suspect the Twilight series is fiber-free. I don’t recall reading about a knitting character in the Anita Blake or Rachel Morgan series either. So I’m trying to tell myself that combining vampires with knitting is an original approach. It’s also an innovative way to have vampires in a nonfiction context. It’s not likely to be a book about people who believe themselves to be true vampires or a guide to dealing with the psychic vampires in your life.

And I have just written all that and I’m trying to be fair-minded, but…but…look, can you jump the shark in publishing, or is that just a television term? Because if we’re getting knitting books about vampires, I think we’ve hit that point now. Is it that the genre fiction market has finally hit the saturation point, that writers and publishers now need to expand into nonfiction or wither away? Isn’t it time for a new trend yet?

[takes deep breath, prepares to back away from the keyboard]

Oh, actually, I do have another little criticism (more of an ironic observation) of the book itself, again, about something I can see without having a copy in hand. Like I said, I’ve seen some pictures of the projects at KnitPicks.com, and really, they are attractive patterns. But of the twelve photos KnitPicks is featuring, nine appear to have been taken outside in daylight. Daylight?!