Why I bought a book
This was the second time I had stopped into the independent bookstore closest to me to try to get them interested in carrying my novel, The Trier. The first visit I left my promotional signing card, my business card, and, I thought, a good impression.
I had heard nothing in a week from the decision maker. Clearly I had done something wrong this first time. I knew what it was. I did not leave an actual copy of The Trier, for them the first time around. How could the decision maker decide to carry my novel based on a postcard tossed onto their desk?
This second visit went smoothly. This time I left real copy of the book for the decision maker. A different bookseller assured me that things take time and that they would respond via email with a follow up.
“Ok,” I said. “But I am having a signing at Tomorrow Books in two weeks. Just so you know.” This had to help. It made me look legitimate, like the decision maker better get back to me before it is too late.
“Fine.” Replied the bookseller.
What now? That was all I got back? The bookseller, nice enough in the way the bookseller on the first visit was. A pat on the head. Now go chew your on your old tennis ball. However, he did not rush to text the decision maker about my fast dwindling availability. What now?
Buy something. Of course. Buy a book to sell a book. I’ll do just that.
But which one? Why do they have so many? Which one will make me look best in the eyes of the bookseller and decision maker. Why did these people have to write all these damn books?
I was taking too long, looking indecisive. Not good. It isn’t a library, fool. Buy something.
I felt the alarm on my internal clock go off as I looked up to see Henry Miller, Happy Rock by Miller’s long time friend Gyula Halasz, known as Brassai. This is it. Upon purchase, I can explain to the bookseller how this book ties my own two novels together. I used Henry Miller’s made up word, Cosmodemonic one hundred ninety nine times in Tripio. And in The Trier is a ultra-witty reference to Brassai that the copy editor had to ask me to explain. This will work. The perfect conversation piece to display my worthiness of an email response.
The perfect choice
You remember I said it was the closest bookstore to my house? That makes it very likely that I may run into someone I know. Which I did as I was checking out. She must have walked in while I was in back, focused on appearing calm. She had a couple books in hand and we exchanged pleasantries upon seeing one another.
The person in front of us paid. As we stepped up to pay the pleasantries became inquires. My friend asked, “Why are you buying a book by dirty old man Henry Miller?”
“Oh,” I said looking askance at the bookseller, ” I just like to do my Christmas shopping early. My brother loves him.”
I paid for the book, she hers, and we resumed pleasantries as we left.
I spent the weekend reading Happy Rock and checking my Gmail.Tags: bookstores, novels, self publishing, selling books