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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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?
I wish I could go to a tupperwareslash liarsdiary party. I could bring either the fruit cocktail jelly mold or the rolled egg salad sandwiches.
Wow! What an idea! I would be THRILLED to host a Liar's Party if you could make it to Portland! Are you sure this won't turn out to be too much of a time investment for you, though? I mean, I think it's a fabulous idea -- meeting authors is a huge component for writers realizing they too can become published authors -- but you've got to leave yourself the time and mental health to write more books! As long as you're careful not to overextend yourself. (Gee, you can really tell what a hermit I am! Happy to stay home writing and reading all the time!) Glad to hear, too, that Dutton's pub people are so good. Yay, you!
Brilliant idea - good luck with it. Bet the coaches agree too! Can't wait to read your book.
That is such a great idea ... it will surely fly! (It already has got off the ground by the sound of things.) I am awaiting my copy from Amazon with great anticipation.
Yes, why not! Be your own cheerleader! Great idea!
This is one of those times I wish I lived in the US and could host a party for you! Your idea is wonderful - so much fun for all concerned! And how terrific that the publisher's marketing team jumped on the bandwagon of your bright idea!
Oh, Patry I've just had an idea! When your book comes out in French, you'll need to come to Paris! And I'll host a party for you here.
Sounds like a great idea!
I think this is better than a bookstore booksigning because you create relationships - that will sell not only this book, but all the next ones to come...can't beat that kind of investment! And what a great way to create word of mouth (which we ALL know is the BEST way to sell anything).
I love this idea, particularly for self-help. I'd thought of groups but not with this "english" on them. Excellent! Thanks for posting this!
I'm new to your site, but have scrolled through many entries to absorb the 'who, where and how' of your pages. First, congrats on your new book coming out! Second, as for marketing, I think this is a brilliant way to involve people, get them together discussing books, your book, reading, etc. I can think of many, many, home parties I would avoid like the plague (think scrapbooking, stamps, and kitchenware), but this is one I would mark my calendar for.....a Liars Party. Just the name of it sounds devilishly fun!
If you make it to Chicago, I'd be happy to host one for you.
Let us know how the parties go.
This is amazing.
I am already thinking of who I can invite to my party for you!
I will email you soon!
Ditto on Chicagoland. Also, I'm thinking that since you're calling these "liar's parties," the focus of at least part of the conversation could be the fascinating topic of lying. The title of the book continues to intrigue me, raising all kinds of thoughts and questions about levels of truth or falsehood in diary contents and what the purpose of a diary even is.
All the best with this.
lorna: Every Tupperware party needs fruit cocktail jelly mold!
laini: The hermit in me worries about that, too, but I only plan to do this for a few months. I'm thinking it will be fun to come out of my writing cave for a while and meet real readers and writers; then it's back to hibernation--hopefully with many new stories to tell!
sarah: Thank you and welcome!
chiefbiscuit: Thanks for your enthusiasm--and especially for the pre-order. Can't wait to hear what you think of the book.
regina: The pom poms are ready!
tara: A party in Paris! What could be more wonderful? Thank you! And if I get there, I'll be sure to take you up on it!
crafty: Thanks for your feedback, and welcome to my blog!
tammy: That's it exactly. Creating relationships and word of mouth--and
of course, having fun.
claudia: I think it would be an excellent way to get the word out about a self-help book. My hope is that if it works for me, lots of other authors or artists can try it, too.
rebecca: Thanks and welcome. "Devilishly fun"--oh yes, that's the spirit.
Oh Melba! Thank you! I'll be watching for that e-mail.
susan: Thank you, dear! We'll see just where the parties take me, but there's nowhere I'd rather go than to Chicago!
Wow, a great idea. The part of me that is terrified of people and crowds recoils in horror! The part of me that loves reading and ideas gets all warm and fuzzy with joy. My house is too tiny for me to host a party in, but I bet I have friends who would, if you ever got to my town.
I think that's a great idea! What a blast!
Wow!!! That's a fantastic idea. Let me know if you're in LA. Then I'd just need to get friends.... ;)
I think it is a fantastic idea. Every town I've ever lived in has had reading groups. What they would have done to have the author come and talk with them-- truly a brilliant idea! With your blogging buddies, I bet we could come up with several reading groups that meet in our towns-- all over the country. How far do you want to travel?
Patry, as one who's done a small local book club circuit I'm confident your Liar's Parties are going to be immensely successful! Have fun and keep us posted on how they go. Also be sure to let me know when your book tour takes you to Denver; I, too, would be thrilled to host a party for you! K.
tarakuanyin: Crowds scare me, too, but parties with friends, especially with a glass of wine in my hand? That's much more my style.
Devon: I really think it WILL be a blast--and maybe even a chance to bring some blog friends together.
Stephanie: Would you believe I've never been West of the Mississipppi? I would love to go to L.A. In fact, I'd love to go to all these wonderful places...
robin: That would be AMAZING--my ideal "book tour." Right now I'm practically in tears at the generosity of my blog friends.
k: Yes--Denver, where's there's real live snow! I'm so desperate for a sight of white winter, the idea leaves me spinning. If I e-mail you later, will you share what you learned from your book club tour?
I see Laini has offered to host one here in Portland and I second that idea! I can host and/or attend. I think this is such a fun idea and you'll get to do some traveling-even better! Even if you can't make it to Portland we should still have something here!
i would surely hold a party for you - if ever you plan to come to england you can mail me and i bet both my book group and my neighbours would love to join us!!
good luck with your launch
rosy (far far away in england)
alexandra: I can already feel the great energy of sitting in those brightly colored walls with you and Laini!!! I hope I can come!
rosy: Thank you! I would love to go to England...now if I can just get a UK publisher...
Good look with the new book!
Patry, As EVERYONE seems to agree, it sounds like an absolutely fabulous idea. I did feel some of the same concerns for you that Laini expressed, but your answers to her certainly cleared those up and it does seem like a great way to get new ideas directly from interested readers, the exact kind of interactive feedback it is difficult for writers to get from the general public. As an English teacher, I am one of several groups of ladies who would LOVE a party like this. And your party name, like your book title, is tantalizing and clever. Good luck with it all!!
I love the idea and I know it would work for myself and several of my friends. We are frequently talking books anyway.
I may have missed this one little thing though .. why call it the Liar's Party?
Ok.. now I get it. You have incorporated the Title of your book. Smart girl!
The question is, how do we get you out to California? I'll definitely host a party if we can get you here. First you do CA, then you hit Portland, and Laini...hmmmm?
FABU-U-LOUS!!!! A lot of musicians are doing this now playing house parties. You've never been west of the Mississippi?! Wha...WHAT?! Girl, you gotta get OUT HERE on the left coast!!!! If you can get yourself to Northern California, I will gladly host a party for you (and invite as many NoCal bloggers as I can). Just one thing--our place is teensy--so I'm picturing an alternative location... ;) I mean, dang, you're already gonna be my old town of Portland. ;) (Expect an email to the other addy.)
djpare: Thanks for your good wishes!
sundaycynce: My very first party will be hosted by a friend who is also an English teacher. Since most of the attendees also teach, she's promised I will get lots of feedback.
coll: I'm hoping the Liars theme will add to a lot of the fun.
jordan: Now you're really getting me excited! Maybe you could even come along for Laini's party?
marilyn: Can you believe I've lived this long and never seen California?
I LOVE the idea of your party...
mostly my group thought the abortionists daughter was ok - no-one really loved it. we always score out of 10 and this book scored an average of 6. personally i scored 3 which was the lowest. i felt a lot of issues were raised but none of them were adequately tackled - rather that issues were skated over. we felt that the book fell between 2 stools - neither a 'crime' ie detective nor a novel of contemporary life. as a group we felt the characterisation was poor and no-one cared too much about any of them. there are 12 in the group -mostly aged in our 40s or 50s though we do have one 27 year old and another in her 60s. we are not at all 'high-brow'!!!
we did once have an author come to a meeting to talk to us - and very interesting it was too - we all read her books and it certainly added to our appreciation of her writings.
i love your blog - i stumbled upon it by chance - if the liar's party is anything like as good i for one shall be hooked - i shall be looking on amazon in february!!
It looks as though you can be as busy as you'd like with this wonderful idea. Maybe Dutton will send you on a 15-city Liars' Tour! Oh and if they do -- pretty please include Toronto!
Fantastic idea, Patry. And very brave of you, I might add. *Imagines deep mountain Secret Window Deliverance party.* Sorry. I tend to be overdramatic at times. On the plus side, such a tour might provide writing material for years to come.
How many would you need at a party to make it profitable?
One way or another, count me in. I'll be dropping that e-mail address a line.
Way fun idea. Of course, if you show up at my local bookstore or library, I'll still go.
It's not stalking. It's support. ;)
Oh, and how cool is that box of gleaming blue books?
Congratulations, again, and also thanks again for sharing the glee.
Wow. What's the line from the movies? "I have an idea that's so crazy, it just might work!"
rosy: Now I really want your book club to read the book to see how it rates! My three criteria for a good book: 1) A plot! 2) Characters I care about and 3) A satisfying conclusion.
tish: Toronto will be my first stop!
robin: Oh believe me, the Deliverance scenario already went through my head. That's why I'd only do it with people I feel like I know or friends of friends. Good question about how many I'd need to sell to make it worthwhile. Mainly, I think it's about meeting readers, and getting the word out.
sara: Looking forward to your e-mail --and also to seeing you in Concord. I'm going to need a friendly face in the crowd.
dave: I think I was way too influenced by movies like that when I was a kid...
Great idea. I've been to a handful of similar events at a person's home (as a guest, not the author -- yet!). Anyway, it's lovely.
I wish i could've been in the room when you opened that box.
I can't wait til my party!!!
Brilliant! Fun! Inspiring!
What an amazing, unique idea. The originality of it alone will get you some extra PR, I'm sure. I think the word-of-mouth after it will be powerful.
Keep us posted on where you will be going!
Patry, if you come to Central Illinois (about 125 miles south of the Loop in Chicago) I'll be happy to host a Liar's Club party. No fruit cocktail jello or sandwiches; our reading group eats only popcorn. But, the first author to meet with our group won The National Book Award and we just had one here last week who won the Flannery O'Connor award for short fiction. So, it might be good luck for you to meet with us.
jenny: I like that word--"yet."
r: You'll be getting your invitations soon! I can't wait either.
kg: Thanks, KG! That's what I'm hoping for.
amishlaw: With that kind of good luck, we can live without the jello mold! Thanks for the invitation!
Coming to Houston?
Patry, just thought of something... Have you thought of setting up The Liar's Diary as a MySpace group? Might be one more way to get the word out...just a thought. I'm so excited by the mere THOUGHT of throwing you a book party that I can hardly stand it. ;)
There would be a presentation of a new book, talk about writing and book tips plus cookies and coffee? I would sign up and even pay for it. Good luck with this project, it sound wonderfully fun!
sherry: Houston sounds intriguing! I want to go EVERYWHERE!
marilyn: I have a Myspace page under my name, but you're right: the parties might need something all their own...thanks for your enthusiasm!
hanna: That's exactly what I need to hear!
Sounds a great idea - I wish you well with it. Keep us updated how it goes.
Hey Patry....I can have one for you in Factory Town if you came out this way.
Terrific idea! Will the book come in different colors, like Tupperware?
I LOVE this big idea of yours! Oh, my - we're trying to get the place remodeled, but maybe we could try Marilyn's idea and have one at another location - are you coming to S. Cal?
avus: Thanks, and I definitely will.
fred: You know Factory Town is my natural element...
neil: Now wouldn't that be cool...Didn't Dave Eggers do that with his first book?
tinker: Hope to figure out where I'm going soon. Would love one stop to be sunny California where I could meet YOU.
How generous of you to share your idea. Your excitement is contagious.
I love the photo of your books--makes me just about drool imagining that day in my own future.
I've heard of authors doing book club appearances, but the more personal tone of your version is an improvement for sure! I'm going to see how my publicity folks at Ballantine like your idea.
Thanks so much for sharing, and if you get to Raleigh, let me know, I'll be glad to play hostess.
I think this is a brillant idea! I know I would love an opportunity to get to know the author of a book in a comfortable setting like that.
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oh wow, this sounds just fabulous! i hope so much i get to meet you during your travels. since i never know when i have to travel east with my mom's illness, i don't want to commit to hosting (and then be gone), but i will do everything in my power to meet you if i am in town when you are in seattle/portland. what a creative and exciting idea.
Patry, what a brililant idea! I could use a little pin money to tide me over until my next advance ...
Best of luck for the many Liars' Parties to come!
therese: Thank you and welcome! I'm really hoping that if the idea works for me, lots of authors will try it. p.s. I've always thought Raleigh sounded like a very cool place. Hope I get there!
becca: "A comfortable setting"--that's the key.
sky: Definitely hoping to get to the Seattle/Portland area where so many of my favorite bloggers are.
mia: Great to see you here! As I said to Therese, if the parties go well, I'm hoping lots of writers will get into the bookaware business.
It is great to see the many positive comments from your visitors.
We already know this is going to succeed.
Now you need to finish your press release.
oh patry that is such a wonderfully delicious idea, honestly!!!
i wonder when your book would come to india, i want to read it too!
laura: How did you know I was here procrastinating?
gulnaz: I hope the book will be available in India at some point! Thanks for your enthusiasm. xox
Great idea! The book looks great too. Is the cover what you imagined? I just heard from a friend that Mary Oliver will be appearing at a "tea" about an hour and a half from us. And my friends and I are starting the Teapoet Society for getting together and reading poetry and talking books etc. Another friend is taking her business door to door in house parties like this. You don't even want to know what she sells (monday's post). I think book parties will be much more fun than book signings and fairs for you and for others. Will they be near home?
colleen: The Teapoet society sounds marvelous! The name alone is worth the price of admission. I'm planning to start close to home, and then take my act on the road! Now I've got to find out what your friend is selling...
Sounds like a peachy idea. Almost smacks of being like an indy artist/author making one's way.
Yay, Ani DiFranco.
Yay, Patry Francis.
gerry: Any group that includes Ani DiFranco is a group I want to join. I'll make sure you get your autographed copy one way or another. Maybe when I come out to hear you play in the spring?
I'm going to email you. Any chance you might come to Indiana?
what a wonderful, wonderful idea.
Absolutely WONDERFUL idea! When I'm well, I'd love to host one :)
Much peace, JP
oh this is a wondrous idea. i am already inviting myself to laini's party in portland...
i can't wait to read the book patry! this is all so exciting and i am glad you are sharing your wild ride with us, the readers of your blog.
irene: Thank you! I'll make sure you're invited if I do one in Paris!
deborah: Hope you're well soon. Thanks for all your kindness and support.
liz: Yes!!! See you in Portland! (And sharing it with all of you is the most fun part of all!?
How brilliant you are, Patty! Sheer marketing genius... how many writers have that skill along with talent? Proud as heck of you, you go girl!
I think this is such a marvellous idea! Creative. And WOW! If you come to Western Mass,let me know. I live in this building: www.eastworks.com
brenda: To my surprise, I'm finding this marketing stuff is FUN.
bruce: I lived in Northampton for many years so probably will be out there at some point. The place where you live looks very cool.
I hope to hear about Liar's Parties cropping up all over the nation. Good for you! Every author needs a unique way to promote their work, and you've done it with this idea. All the best from a fellow author.
You can have a Liar's Party in Cleveland at my house!
holly: Watch for it! It's gonna happen! (And thanks for the support.)
k-oh: Hmmm...Cincinnatti--and a chance to meet the author of Stalking the Divine, a book I LOVED. Sounds marvelous! Thank you for offering.
Look at your book in the flesh!
How exciting and I can't wait to read it.
I regret that I'm going to miss the rdl party since I'd love to congratulate you in person.
I enjoy your blog.
Mary: I was so disappointed when R. told me you wouldn't be there! We'll have to get together when you come back. Thanks again for all your support!!
You reminded me of the old "salon" idea Patry. Such a nice civilised alternative to the publicity machine. I love the glimpse of your book(s) in a box.
p.v. Great to see you here after all this time! And yes, "salon" is the exact word I used this week when trying to fine tune the idea. It's all about keeping things human scale.
Are you planning a visit to the Netherlands? I would love to host a liars' party at my place, if you're in the area!
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