Okay, I know I'm a couple days late, but here it is: my very own BIG IDEA. My own bit of marketing madness. The thing I'm most looking forward to as my pub date approaches.
How about if an author went out and introduced her novel through old-fashioned Tupperware-style houseparties?
How about if the author devised a fun format and starting with her own friends, got together in little gatherings to talk about books, writing, creativity and whatever else friends talk about?
Bookstore readings are great, but people are busy, and unless the writer is Orhan Pamuk or Stephen King, it's hard to get us off our couches to come out for a reading. And frequently, when we do, there's little chance to talk directly to the author we came to see--or for her to talk to us.
How would it be the author came to them? How would it be if she got together with a bunch of friends in someone's living room, sipped a little wine or tea together and chatted?
Her book (though of course, it would work for hims as well) would be availabe for sale and signing, but no one would be pressured to buy. The emphasis would be on talking about books and writing and the various ways we live the creative life.
That was the idea I presented to the fantastic publicity department at Dutton; and they responded with an amazing show of openness and enthusiasm. They also had the kind of marketing expertise and experience to turn my "big idea" into something that could really work. We now have brochures describing the parties, and printed invitations--just like Tupperware!
In addition, Dutton has offered to give anyone who hosts a party five free books as a gift, two hardcovers selected from the catalogue and three Advance Review Copies of new work that is not yet available.
Then my friends got involved. My daughter set up an e-mail address to deal specifically with the parties (email@example.com) and my friend, Laura, has been brainstorming with me as well as working hard to get me focussed and organized (not an easy task.) Already, eight friends and family members have offered to host their own Liars Parties.
And yes, I do know that a book is different than a set of plastic mixing bowls. When I look at my author copies, which arrived a few days ago, I see not only years of work, but a piece of my own mind and heart bound and wrapped up in a stunning blue cover.
But though the products are different, the human need to get together and share ideas and laughter in an intimate setting remains the same.
So coaches, what do you think?