Friday, May 29, 2009

Think-Ahead Marketing

OT: I'm a bit giddy. I read an action scene filled with car stuff and gun stuff to my husband (I know, I know . . . shouldn't do that, but I did), and he liked it. My toughest critic. Wahoo!

Okay . . . this morning I had a choice. Man the garage sale or take the car into the dealership to have the CD player checked. Garage or . . . garage. Right? Having been the sole proprietor at our home during previous neighborhood garage sales, I naturally elected to go to the other gray space. Sometimes I'm not a team player.

Man, did I make the right choice. I was as close to spa-pampered as a person can get from the moment I walked in. "Don't worry about pulling up your car, I'll run and get it for you, ma'am." He didn't even ask me what my car looked like, and—a little scary–never had to. "Did you want it washed today, ma'am?" Duh!

A waiting room decorated like a hotel lobby. A gorgeous rug, groupings of overstuffed reading chairs, decorator lamps and tables and chairs. I looked around for the fireplace, never mind that it's not winter. The parts desk had a sign over it that said "Concierge." An espresso machine, fresh fruit and pastries, cold water, juice and pop. A flat screen and wireless. What more could a writer want? I plugged in and hit the keyboard, hoping that the CD player would be fixable, but that it would take hours to get the job done. Unfortunately, the effective technicians diagnosed the problem within an hour.

I wondered if they would mind me showing up on a regular basis. I would park the car away from serious buyer traffic. Out of the way. Kind of like J.K. Rowling and her coffee shop. I wondered if they made her buy coffee while she wrote quietly in a corner. Our garage (even without the garage sale going on) can only hold so many cars. I would really try to minimize the espresso, and subsequent use of their oh-so-luxurious (think Nieman Marcus) Women's restroom. I really would.

And what if I prominently featured Kuni Lexus in my novel? In a nice way, of course. Where either the good guys or a victim hung out. Never the evil antagonist. Would that work?

Writing space aside, the idea of holding a book signing in such a wonderful, non-traditional location has a certain appeal. Brandilyn Collins has done it with amazing success for at least one of her novels. Of course, Brandilyn Collins is an amazingly successful author. (It's important to remember that quality comes first.)

The manuscript I'm working on primarily takes place in a fictional town. But both Aspen and Denver are right there. Hmmm . . . decisions, decisions.

Think about the book you're reading right now, or the one you're writing. Is there some amazing off-the-wall potential there for a book debut? Something that would knock the socks off predictability?

CR: Black Water Rising by Attica Locke. (Don't you just love that name?)

It's all better with friends.


  1. Funny post, and a great idea.

    I'd love to have a book signing in a jewelry store for my book, DIAMONDS FOR THE DEAD. I'm not sure they'd like the "DEAD" part, tho.

  2. I don't know, Alan. Anything to create some buzz. Either a jewelry store, or how about a gem show? Way bigger draw. Better than focusing on the "dead" part and trying to book a funeral home. The crowds would probably be a lot smaller.

  3. Woo hoo, Peg, you have good reason to be giddy!! I am constantly stunned at those who say not to use family members as trusty readers--they can be some of the toughest (and best) critics. If your husband liked it, I'd tuck that in tight, and let it propel me forward through the hard times!

    I like the idea of a jewelry store (or gem show) launch, Alan. I don't think the problem would be the word dead in the title so much--I mean, your book isn't called DIAMONDS COME FROM ENSLAVED WORKERS WHO MAY'VE HAD THEIR HANDS SEVERED--as the fact that book buyers may not be likely to drop a few hundred or more bucks on a piece of jewelry. But it might be enough to sell the idea that the store that hosts you would certainly become uppermost in a whole bunch of new customers' minds when the next gem buying occasion did roll around...

  4. Jewelry stores, gem shows. I like it.

    And maybe I can persuade my hosts to donate a few sparkly door prizes.

    (You're right, Jenny. No severed hands in my story. At least not that story.)

  5. I delayed reading this until I had the time to enjoy it.

    Great post, Peg. I love the way you think outside the box. A book-signing at a car dealership is just kookie enough to work. LOL

    I'm doing my dead-level best to make my novel unique, but at one point I've gone SO unique I've written myself into a corner. *sigh*

    Gotta figure that out and I think th eonly way is some local, hands-on research. And that's going to be an earthquake producing venture for this shrinking violet. (mixed metaphor, sorry)