Have you ever played that game where you set your iTunes library to shuffle, ask a question out loud, and hit “next,” and whatever song comes on is the answer to your question? It’s like using a Magic 8 Ball, but with thousands of nuanced, hilarious answers instead of twenty boring ones.
Lately, I’ve been very curious about how things will go once my book comes out. I guess I could pump my published friends for information. Or I could read blogs. Or I could ask my agent. But instead, I decided to ask iTunes.
This is what it told me.
(NOTE: Rather than using my entire iTunes library, I used my twelve-hour 90s music playlist. I figured since I was a teenager in the 90s, this would give me the best advice about being a young adult author. I did not cheat and re-ask questions, and I didn’t make any of this up.)
Me: What will be the general public’s reaction to RED?
iTunes: The Power of Love, by Celine Dion (Yeah, I can live with that.)
Me: What will my first trade publication review for RED say?
iTunes: Good Vibrations, Marky Mark (Good answer, but seriously, why do I have this song?)
Me: What will Kirkus say about RED?
iTunes: I, Alone, by Live (Hmm… “I alone love you?” So Kirkus is going to be my ONLY good review?)
Me: What will my worst review say?
iTunes: Torn, by Natalie Imbruglia (“Nothing’s right, I’m torn… illusion never changed into something real…” Yeah, that’s a pretty bad review.)
Me: How will I react when I get my first bad review?
iTunes: Let’s Talk About Sex, by Salt N Peppa (Uh-oh.)
Me: What will Goodreads say?
iTunes: Semi-Charmed Life, by Third Eye Blind (I’ll take it.)
Me: How will I feel about RED in a year?
iTunes: I Only Wanna Be With You, by Hootie and the Blowfish (Well, that doesn’t bode well for my next book…)
Me: What will I be doing on release day?
iTunes: Ode to My Family, by The Cranberries (Wow. That’s… eerily accurate.)
Me: Will RED sell in lots of other countries?
iTunes: I’m Every Woman, Whitney Houston (So, it’ll sell… EVERYWHERE? To EVERY WOMAN? SWEET.)
Me: If someone makes RED into a TV show, what song should play during the credits?
iTunes: Sweet Dreams, by Marilyn Manson (Ummmm….)
Me: How will my UK readers react to RED?
iTunes: Waterfalls, by TLC (So… they’ll cry? Uh-oh.)
Me: What should the subject of my next book be if I want it to hit the Times list?
iTunes: Wild Night, by John Mellencamp (I guess I should write porn, then?)
Me: What will be the best publicity strategy for RED?
iTunes: Save the Best for Last, by Vanessa Williams (This might actually be great advice.)
Me: What demographic should I be targeting?
iTunes: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Deep Blue Something (So… rich people? I guess they would buy more books…)
Me: How can I guarantee my launch party will be amazing?
iTunes: When I Dip You Dip We Dip, by 69 Boys (I guess it’s going to be a dance party. Done.)
Me: How will I feel about my sales figures?
iTunes: Vision of Love, by Mariah Carey (Yesssss.)
And my two very favorite answers:
Me: What does my editor secretly think of my book?
iTunes: I’ll Make Love to You, by Boyz II Men
Me: What does my mom secretly think of my book?
iTunes: Misery, by Soul Asylum