October 25th, 2006

Promoting the heck out of yourself

Some authors really know how to self-promote. And if they are lucky their publishers back them up. Take local boy Chuck Palahniuk. He was just at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. For most attendees the highlight of the show was a luncheon with Chuck. Ten years after winning his first award from PNBA for Fight Club, Chuck showed up wearing a cut-away tuxedo jacket festooned with bright pins, which he invited the 180 booksellers in attendance to claim after his talk. So, for the next two days booksellers walked the aisles of PNBA wearing their "Chuck pins."

I've also seen Chuck give away flashing novelty lights that you wore around your wrist – pretty soon everyone in attendance at a huge multi-author book signing was wearing one. And Random House offered free stickers for Haunted to any fan who supplied their home address. "Help promote the release of the book by spreading them around to as many places and people as possible." They call it the cult of Chuck, and it really is a cult when you can get other people to do your marketing for you. [Full disclosure: Of course, Chuck can also mess with people's minds. Like the interview he gave some poor reporter (possibly an ever more pitiable freelancer) for the Portland Tribune, owned by a very conservative businessman. In the interview, Chuck spilled the top-secret beans about his "wife," when he actually has lived for many years with a guy.]

Warner Books is holding a very cool contest to promote David Baldacci ’s new murder mystery, The Collectors, which finds a corpse turning up in the Library of Congress’s (LC) rare books room. The publisher will select two grand prize winners to receive a personal tour of the facility by the mystery author and LC’s in-house historian, John Cole. The tour will include the Rare Books and Special Collection Division, Conservation, the refurbished Jefferson Building, the office of the First Librarian of Congress, which now serves as a private foreign dignitaries’ office, and several exhibition halls. Baldacci also will take the winners to lunch at the DC hotspot, The Monocle.

My promotions have been more limited. I send signed postcards for a new book to anyone who shows up at a signing or registers at my Web site. I have occasionally tossed favors (plastic diamond rings) at people who asked questions at a signing. And for mall signings, which are the seventh circle of hell, I have brought small wrapped chocolates. My friend Meg Chittendon was once sitting at a mall with a bowl of chocolates when an old woman approached and asked if the candy was free. When Meg said yes, the woman opened her purse and poured in all the candy and walked away.

Or you could be like Anne Tyler, whose birthday is today. She gave a few interviews in her early career, but after that she decided she didn't want to be a public person. She never goes on book tours or speaks on talk shows, and if she answers any questions from journalists, she only does so in writing.



site stats

Subscribe with
JacketFlap's
Children's
Publishing
Blog Reader

We're number one! Again!

Portland’s library is still the number one busiest library in the country. That’s according to a new report by the Public Library Association. Multnomah County’s overall circulation of books and materials ranked no. 1 for the fourth year in a row.

Director of Libraries Molly Raphael said the county had the highest circulation of any library in the U.S., serving around 250,000. Last year customers checked out 19.5 million library items, the report stated.

I love my library. They buy my books and I check out tons of books there. Cookbooks, novels, books for my kid, even magazines and videos. Let's hear it for libraries.

Jeopardy gives Linda Sue Park the boot - for a literacy question!

School Library Journal reports "Children-s author Linda Sue Park got booted off the TV quiz show Jeopardy! on October 20 after incorrectly answering - of all things - a literacy question. Oh well, at least she still has her Newbery.

"In the final round, Alex Trebek, the host of the popular game show where contestants are given answers to questions and must phrase responses in the form of a question, asked Park “In an 1868 novel, this mysterious title object is believed to sparkle or dim depending on lunar phrases.” Park, who wrote the award-winning A Single Shard (Clarion, 2001), got it wrong. The answer: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins." [Full disclosure: I would have had NO idea.] [Full disclosure number 2: I know a 5-time Jeopardy winner. He's kind of like you might think.]



site stats

Subscribe with
JacketFlap's
Children's
Publishing
Blog Reader

Better stop writing about vampires - at least ones that need to feed once a month

From LiveScience.com
A researcher has come up with some simple math that sucks the life out of the vampire myth, proving that these highly popular creatures can't exist.

University of Central Florida physics professor Costas Efthimiou's work debunks pseudoscientific ideas, such as vampires and zombies, in an attempt to enhance public literacy. Not only does the public believe in such topics, but the percentages are at dangerously high level, Efthimiou told LiveScience.

Legend has it that vampires feed on human blood and once bitten a person turns into a vampire and starts feasting on the blood of others.

Efthimiou's debunking logic: On Jan 1, 1600, the human population was 536,870,911. If the first vampire came into existence that day and bit one person a month, there would have been two vampires by Feb. 1, 1600. A month later there would have been four, and so on. In just two-and-a-half years the original human population would all have become vampires with nobody left to feed on.

If mortality rates were taken into consideration, the population would disappear much faster. Even an unrealistically high reproduction rate couldn't counteract this effect.

"In the long run, humans cannot survive under these conditions, even if our population were doubling each month," Efthimiou said. "And doubling is clearly way beyond the human capacity of reproduction."



site stats

Subscribe with
JacketFlap's
Children's
Publishing
Blog Reader