Thursday, 1 April 2010

How Not to Promote Your Novel

Let me tell you a story.

Sophie and Paul walk into Waterstones. Before having a chance to shake off the rain, a man approaches with a tray-- 'Would you like a chocolate?!'

Automatically, Sophie's mouth says 'Yes' before her brain processes suspicious motives.

'My book has just been published! Look! Please, read the blurb. Have a look. No pressure, of course. If you want.' Author rocks back on forth on his heels, tight smile on face, watching Sophie politely read the blurb while munching on the chocolate (that tastes bitter now that it is tainted with deception -- she should have known chocolate always comes at a price). Sophie can't focus on what the blurb says because she is acutely aware of an expectant author's stare.

Paul eats chocolate and lets Sophie deal with the situation.

'Thanks,' Sophie mutters and she and Paul quickly scurry away as far into the depths of the bookshop as possible.

'Well that was awkward,' Paul observes.

True story.


  1. Strange, I feel a little sorry for the author, despite the fact he has a book on Waterstones shelves.

  2. Eep! Not good. But at least you got chocolate!

  3. Chocolate == good
    Desperate authour == bad

  4. oh - it's always, always awkward. I hate doing promotion and signing in bookshops, because people who go into bookshops want to browse and buy books, not get attacked by some chocolate wielding author...

    Reading this made me cringe with shame a little, even though I've never been brave enough to do anything remotely like it.

  5. Hey Sophie, just wanted to let you know I've awarded you a Beautiful Blogger Award. Details on my blog.

  6. Jenn, I doubt you're like this guy! Promotional signings are fun and interesting. But it was just the way this guy came across as a bit desperate. Signed books appeal to the book geek in me. Chocolate only appeals to the pig in me!

    Thanks for the comments everyone.


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