Sunday, March 15, 2009

Girl Scout cookies are an easier sell.

Today I was in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It's a very crunchy-granola hippie arts-and-crafts town about an hour from Columbus. I went into a little bookshop which was heavily slanted towards the alternative lifestyles. The pagan/feminist/GLBT/green-living vibe was everywhere.

A-ha! I sez to myself. Perhaps yon shopkeeper would be interested in carrying a gay romantic thriller by a local author!

I bought a magnet. I engaged the man in conversation, commenting both on the awesomeness of his stock of Story People greeting cards and the Rodrigo y Gabriela music he was playing. Then, I made my move.

"My name is Jane Seville, and I own a bookstore in Columbus," sez I. "I have a book coming out soon. It's a gay romantic thriller."

And the guy kind of...chuckled. Like, "oh yeah? seriously?"

"Yes!" I sez. "I was wondering if you'd be interested in stocking it, it'll be available through Ingraham." I threw that last bit in there so he'd known, in all his dubiousness, that yes, it's a real book with a real publisher and a real distributor. Not a vanity press or some spiral-bound self-published thingie.

He told me to email him when it comes out and he'll have a look. I left feeling a little off-center. I'd thought that the keeper of such a leftie shop wouldn't be so giggly at the idea of someone having written a gay romantic thriller (which is rapidly become a phrase I despise even though it's handy and accurately conveys the book's genre). I would like the book to be in more bookstores than just mine. I'm planning to go around to my indie-bookstore compatriots and tell them about the event once the book is out, hopefully they'll stock it, too.

I just hope they don't all laugh at me.


  1. ...hmmm.....maybe "alternative" shopkeeper stocks them, but don't read them!.....he needs to "walk the walk", not just "talk the talk".

  2. I don't know how these things are done, if there is a proper way to promote a book and you going there like this looked ... funny ?! Or maybe the 'colors' of his bookstore were just a facade to attract clients or to help him find a niche ! So, don't mind him ! Isn't there a mailing list of bookstores that you can use to write the owners like you and simply ask them this question ?
    I'm just saying, me being a total outsider..... but when we'll buy your book, and we'll be many, who's going to laugh then ?!