Jim Rubart

Since 1994, Jim Rubart has worked with clients such as AT&T/Cingular, RE/MAX, ABC and Clear Channel radio though his company Barefoot Marketing, but his passion is writing fiction. His debut novel ROOMS released in April and hit the bestseller list in September. His next novel, BOOK OF DAYS released in January. He's also a photographer, guitarist, professional speaker, golfer, and semi-pro magician. He lives in the Northwest with the world's most perfect wife and his two almost-perfect sons. No, he doesn't sleep much. You can reach him at jlrudini[at]comcast.net, or visit his website at http://www.jimrubart.com/.

Go Crazy

Last month I reconnected with Mark Effinger, a friend from junior high. I had moved away after eighth grade and lost touch, but I’ve thought of him often through the years. I loved his mantra, with which he signed my yearbook: GO CRAZY!

It’s good advice, especially when it comes to marketing. Crazy gets noticed. Mundane is forgotten. Crazy creates buzz. The norm is swept away like dust. Crazy keeps you in the mind of readers, editors, and agents.

Last fall I went a little crazy.

“I can’t believe I’m sitting here in Indianapolis when one of my all-time favorite authors is doing a book signing ten minutes from my home,” I said to Allen Arnold one night at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Indianapolis.

“Stephen Lawhead?”

“Yep. I’ve been wanting to meet him for decades.”

I started reading Stephen Lawhead’s books in the mid ’80s. When I read Empyrion and then Dream Thief, I was captivated. I’d been searching for an author like him for years. He’s one of the few novelists of whom I’ve said, “I would love to write books like him.”

After I finished my lament, Allen smiled and cocked his head slightly to the side. “I have an idea.”


“Come meet him.”

“What?” I shifted forward in my chair.

“Come meet him.” The smiled stay on Allen’s face. “After ACFW is over, I’m flying to Dallas to join Stephen on his book tour. Why not jump on a plane, come to Dallas, and hang out with us? He’s flying back to England after the tour, so it will be your last chance for at least two years. We’ll have dinner together then you can come to his book signing. If you’re up for it, I’ll ask him if that’d be okay.”

My immediate reaction? Impossible. I couldn’t do it. I’d been away from home for five days already. I had work to do. The deadline for my third novel, The Chair, was looming. I had Barefoot Marketing stuff to do. I’d been away from my family for too long. I was supposed to return home for two days, then turn around and jump on a plane for Dallas?

It was crazy. I didn’t have the time to do it. I didn’t have the money. I didn’t have any place to stay in Dallas.

But I wanted to meet Stephen. And the crazy feeling was dancing in my brain.

When I got home I told Darci (my wife) about the idea. She smiled the same smile as Allen’s. “Do you want to go?”

“Are you kidding?”

“Then go.”

“Are you serious?”

“Absolutely. Why not? When will you get another chance?”

I called Mary and Patrick DeMuth. “Can I crash at your house for a night?”

“No problem.”

I checked my frequent flier miles. Yes! Enough for a round trip ticket to Dallas. Three days later I winged my way to Dallas to meet one of my heroes.

He didn’t disappoint. Stephen was engaging, bright, playful, and we hit it off.

As I think about the trip nine months later, I’ve somehow forgotten all the things I had to get done that week, things that should have stopped me from going.

I don’t have to explain the marketing lesson buried in this experience. You get it. Sometimes you have step out and do something crazy. Something that makes no sense.

Did my trip benefit my career? Yes. I didn’t do it for that reason, but it made an impact. But let’s save that story for a future column. In the meantime I’d love to hear from you about a time you went a mite insane, and what came from it.

Talk to me. Let’s go crazy together.

It’s good marketing advice.

How did you go crazy lately? It might be as simple as or getting on a plane to Dallas.


Book Of Days