Max Barry’s How To (Reluctantly) Make a Book Trailer (Brilliantly)

Max Barry has been one of my favorite authors for years. He’s an Australian whose work – high concept, Big Ideas novels with humor, brains and heart – I find endlessly fascinating, and have done ever since I happened upon a copy of Jennifer Government in a bookstore here in Cork. While I couldn’t possibly choose one favorite author or one favorite book (there’s just too many!), I can tell you that Barry’s are the only books I re-read all the time. He’s just released his fourth novel, Machine Man, and I am LOVING his book trailer for it.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Unless you’ve been on Mars and/or ignoring my blog posts, you’ll know that despite my saying never countless times – and saying it in public, and in print – I’m self-publishing my novel in October. And Max Barry actually has a lot to do with it…

His novel Company is a very, very clever corporate satire that Barry wrote following a stint in the bowels of Hewlett-Packard. Imagine Initech (the company in Office Space) only with nobody – including the people who work there – having any idea what it is the company does. I am forever amused by the utter idiocy of corporate culture and so Company felt a bit like it was written just for me. I loved it, and I was also inspired by it. I thought I’d love to write a book like that – but about the dieting industry which, if you ask me, has been asking for the satire treatment for years. So I did – or tried to, anyway. It’s called Results Not Typical and it’s out next month. I don’t imagine it’s a speck on the shoe of the great Company (I know it isn’t, because none other than the New York Times called Company “hilarious”), but I think it’s better than a slap in the face. We’ll see what people think when it goes on sale.

[Imagine me experiencing night terrors over this.]

In the meantime I implore you to head to your book retailer of choice and add Syrup, Company, Jennifer Government and Machine Man to your cart. Just read this, the synopsis for Jennifer Government:

“The world is run by American corporations; there are no taxes; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; the Police and the NRA are publicly-traded security firms; the government can only investigate crimes it can bill for. Hack Nike is a Merchandising Officer who discovers an all-new way to sell sneakers. Buy Mitsui is a stockbroker with a death-wish. Billy NRA is finding out that life in a private army isn’t all snappy uniforms and code names. And Jennifer Government, a legendary agent with a barcode tattoo, is a consumer watchdog with a gun.”

I mean, come on. How could you not want to read that book?!

In related news, Max Barry does actually know I exist. Or at least he did once, for a few minutes. In April 2010 I attended an Inkwell workshop in Dublin, taught by bestselling author Monica McInerney. At one point she went around the room and asked us to name a favorite novel, and I said Company. We got chatting afterwards and Monica being the super lovely person she is, ended up buying and reading Mousetrapped and then e-mailing me to tell me what she thought of it. In her e-mail she also mentioned that since the workshop she’d been in Australia filming a book club show with none other than Max Barry (!), and she’d told him about me and how I’d named Company when my turn came. I spent a day floating around a fluffy cloud, thinking, Oh my god! Max Barry knows I exist. Me! Little Me! 

Click here to find out more about Results Not Typical.

Click here to visit Max Barry’s website. Do it!

One thought on “Max Barry’s How To (Reluctantly) Make a Book Trailer (Brilliantly)

  1. Julia Hidy says:

    Let him know you exist again. I’m sure he’d appreciate knowing you enjoy his work. Perhaps you could track him down via twitter, Google+ or his FB fan page, if he has one. Send him the link to this blog post. If you can’t find him there, perhaps send the link with your blog post of kudos to his agent and/or publisher. I’m sure they’d all be delighted to know that you’ve shared his books with us.

    Being a non-fiction rug rat, I wait to hear about books my fiction chums LOVED, especially if they ‘couldn’t put the book down.’ That’s my cue to go out and buy it for myself. Being an enthusiastic type, when I like the book too, I’ll tell at least 20 to 30 others – mostly writers, who will also keep the happy word-of-mouth going. When anyone ever recommends one of my books, especially another author / writer, I’m always thrilled. Means I’ve made another ‘tribe’ member happy. Max is part of your tribe. Go on … make Max’s day. 🙂

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