I posted a question on my Facebook page this morning: would you be more likely to buy a book if the author happened to be from your hometown/state/country? Would you be more likely to spend your money on tickets to a movie if any of the actors/writers/directors were from your city? And for those of you who are fans of TV talent competitions like The Voice and American Idol--would you be inclined to cast your vote for a contestant from your area, even if they weren't the most talented participant in the competition?
This is something I've given thought to, off and on, for years now. During my years in conventional publishing, I knew several authors who spent a great deal of time and effort going to local distribution centers to put a "Local Author" sticker on the covers of every book before they were sent out to retail outlets. I never did it myself--none of my favorite authors are from St. Louis, and I don't believe it matters much.
But maybe I'm wrong.
Last season on The Voice, there was a contestant from St. Louis. Our local NBC affiliate urged viewers to throw their support behind her. I don't watch reality shows (except for Total Divas), so I don't know if she deserved to win--she didn't win, in the end--but I can't say I would ever vote for a contestant from my neck of the woods if I thought another contestant was more deserving of the win.
Yesterday, I heard a local TV reporter make a reference to Gone Girl--part of which was filmed here in Missouri--as "the biggest movie of the year." Seriously? In a year that included movies like the latest Transformers movie, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy (yes, I know director James Gunn is from St. Louis, but I'm fairly certain his talent didn't come from having been born here)?
Gone Girl is adapted from a bestselling novel, so it's likely going to be a hugely successful movie as well--but the biggest movie of the year? Not likely.
So...what do you all think? Are you more likely to buy a book or see a movie or support a performer who happens to be from your area?
PS I have a new excerpt up at Sam's Story and will have a new one from my memoir early next week....