Monday, October 26, 2009

Be-uh He-uh: Successful book promotion may require some form of refrigeration

[I'll get to the translation of Be-uh He-uh in a moment for any out-of-towners.]

My book, The Benefactor, was released by The Wild Rose Press last week. For the past few months I've been gazing into space and doing research on the best places to promote a book. Believe it or not, a bookstore is not that place. One local, independent store told a fellow writer that she should set the retail price and they'd take half. Only bad thing was it cost her $3 more than that "half price" to purchase the books at her special discount from her publisher. So, for the privilege of sitting at their store, it would cost her $3 per book (and that's not even factoring in the cost of shipping the books to her).

Discouraged by her news, I thought maybe a few local writers could pool their funds and get a table at the mall one day during the holiday season. How much could it be? I'll tell you. One table for one Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas costs $800. You'd have to sell a lot of books to just break even.

Joking around, I told one of my writer friends that we should get a table in the meat aisle of our local warehouse club store. There'd be plenty of people shopping for the holidays. He told me he'd already been turned down. At first, I thought he was pulling my leg. But no. He'd gone to the store where he had shopped for years and the manager was very excited about having a book signing there for him. But when the request made it to the "powers that be," the answer was a resounding, "Nay!"

With disbelief that a writer wouldn't even be welcome to sit in front of the frozen turkeys, but feeling that I was onto something, I spent a few more hours gazing into space, brainstorming with myself. Maybe it's that the Yankees have made it into the World Series, but those guys at the stadium who walk around with the cases of beer cans sitting in ice, screaming "Be-uh He-uh" (that's Beer Here for those of you not from the Metro New York area), suddenly came to mind. Maybe they had room in their beer cases for my romantic suspense novel. The odds are that at least some of the women sitting in the stands are glazed over and there only to impress their dates. They could get started reading immediately and maybe create a buzz in the stands. Though in New York, creating the wrong kind of buzz will get a hot dog thrown at you...or worse. Still, a bit of mustard never hurt anyone.

My mind continued on. What about those guys with the coolers heaved on their shoulders selling cold drinks on the beach? "Ice cold water, iced tea, The Benefactor, ice cold water, iced tea, The Benefactor." It has a nice ring to it, don't you think? And there are plenty of women on the beach, some perhaps in need of a good read.

Then this idea popped into my head...a truck rounds the corner, its bell ringing and the warped strains of "Turkey in the Straw" playing. Children run from their homes. It's the ice cream guy. He reaches into the freezer, pulls out a bomb pop for little Johnny, and The Benefactor for his mom.

Refrigeration, I tell you. Successful book promotion will undoubtedly come down to some form of refrigeration. I'll let you know how it turns out.

1 comment:

terena said...

I love the ice cream/book truck idea. I can see armies of housebound housewives running from their homes to chase you down for a copy.