Adventures in Marketing: Week 53

Sold zero books. But…

…through the efforts of my semi-volunteer publicist, two of my books, maybe three, are now for sale in a Manhattan bookstore, and stores in Manayunk and Dobbs Ferry have said, “Well, maybe…” And the announcement of this surge has led one FB Friend to offer to swap his (unpublished) novel for one of my published ones. (He turns out not to have an actual copy of his book but will e-mail me a couple chapters.)

    Then while I was writing that very paragraph, M (not her actual initial), a heretofore unknown-to-me regular at the cafĂ©, eyed my display and suggested I sell books at the Ashby Flea Market, where, she said, many writers did, including one who had spent 30 years wrongfully imprisoned because of evil perpetrated by the FBI. This led to a 20-to-30 minute conversation, in which I learned she was in her 60s, a free-lance tour guide (Bay Area locales and parks), and which touched upon such matters as holographic wills, her travels along the Silk Road, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Simmons College, her unfair firing from her position at the UN 30 or 40-years ago, the commune she joined in Berkeley (sex, drugs, and one phone for eight people), and concluded, when she asked “So why did you come to Berkeley?” with my handing her a copy of “Cheesesteak” and saying “If you promise to read this…”

    In other news, our pitch of “Heart” to a mid-western publisher resulted in an a response two-hours later, which, tellingly perhaps, asked not to see sample chapters, but to hear our thoughts about our audience, organizational contacts, and sales program.