I don't completely agree with the old adage "any press is good press," but I will say that it is true about 99 percent of the time. Being featured on Business Insider, which is one of the most prominent tech news sites on the Internet, can never be a bad thing, right?
Well, "Corporate Ties" made the list, with nothing more than the canned press release I sent and my picture from the early '80s (OK, the photo was actually taken in 2004, but seriously â€¦ it's 2012). If you're not familiar with BI, you're probably not aware of its tendency to trash AOL, my current job location. Trash might be a little harsh, but many of the top commenters seem to always belittle AOL any chance they can get. I check the site frequently for AOL news, just to see if there's anything I have missed recently at work.
I felt that at minimum, the general gist of "Corporate Ties" (is it worth giving up independence to work for a corporation?) would easily relate to these readers. I didn't consider, though, that BI would run with the press release that the story actually IS about AOL. In fact, I specifically stated in my email that the book IS NOT about AOL, but about a former job. This didn't stop them from using this as a headline: "Uh Oh! An AOL Employee Just Published A Novel That 'Examines Corporate Culture In Humorous Fashion'."
Pretty awesome, right? I couldn't buy this type of sensationalist publicity. A number of people have emailed/IMed/commented about this, wondering if any of the AOL head honchos have contacted me. Of course, I told them that the book isn't about AOL, so it's not a big deal. Second, no one up the ranks has contacted me. Why would they? I'm low enough down the totem pole that even if there was something juicy in there, it wouldn't matter.
Now, would I admit that the book is 100 percent free of AOL stories? Actually, no. There are a few random gems, but nothing that would be that recognizable.
Despite the strange wording in the story, I couldn't be happier with the outcome. I've sold a few books and picked up a bit of interest. Maybe AOLers will read and enjoy even though it's not about AOL.