Saturday, June 17, 2006

Friday 20 (The Saturday Version)

Chick-lit authors are getting out of the bookstore and into serious retail signing space according to USA Today's Carol Memmott. It makes sense, too -- if you're going to write novels about the trials and tribulations of fashionable young women, go and sell them where the real ones shop.

Makes me wonder where the rest of us could go to hype ourselves on the unsuspecting shopper.

Romance: Get the girls while they're out shopping for the ingredients for a fabulous candlelight dinner at the grocery store. Set up a signing table right next to the rotisserie chicken bin, or maybe in front of the filet mignon section in the beef department. Men are more direct and practical about romance, so to grab their interest we should probably do a signing next to the prophylactic rack in the back of the local pharmacy.

Science Fiction: Circuit City's gadget counter would work. So would that aisle in the drugstore where they have the For Men only hair dye, that stuff you spray on a bald spot to make it look hairy, or the all-natural herbal alternatives to Viagra.

Mystery: Do all your signings at a gun shop, pawn shop, bail bondsman's office, jury duty waiting room, or in Scotland.

Westerns: Schedule your next signing at any redneck bar in Alabama, but only on the nights when ladies don't drink free and the mechanical bull is out of order (for speedy sales, tell the patrons that the books are actually props from the set of The Dukes of Hazzard, and Daisy Duke handled them.)

Erotica: Will sell like hotcakes on a Sunday at any fundamentalist church. Set up your table to intercept people on their way into services. Post a sign on the table that reads, See What They're Putting In The School Libraries?

Horror: Same as erotica, except change the sign on the table to read The New Series Based on The Book of Revelations and assure everyone who approaches the table that yes, we are living in The End Times.

Vampire Fiction: Bloodmobiles and blood banks. The patrons are already predisposed to like have the blood sucked out of their veins, right?

I'm sorry I missed any questions you had planned to ask yesterday -- got anything you've been hanging on to for today?

13 comments:

  1. Yeppers, been waiting anxiously for this. How do you come up with plot twists? Is there a specific method, or does it just happen?

    Cheers,
    Erin K.

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  2. Although I'm still going to go out and buy Dark Need (guy on the front's a babe), is there any difference between an ARC and a store bought copy?

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  3. Erin wrote: How do you come up with plot twists? Is there a specific method, or does it just happen?

    My characters usually determine the plot twists in my novels, which I plan as I'm initially outlining the story. The twists generally relate to those three questions I ask my characters: Who are you, what do you want, and what's the worst thing I can do to you?; if I were going to make the plot twist into a fourth question it would likely be and what are you going to do about it?

    Everyone has different opinions on plot twists, what they should be and how to work them into the story. I like twists that are always in front of the reader, but that they don't recognize until the last minute.

    Story camoflauge -- like walking into a room with a pink elephant in it that you don't see because the rest of the room is pink -- is probably the most popular plot twist device. The other is to take advantage of the reader's natural assumptions, such as convincing them that they're hallucinating before they walk into the pink room, so that when they see the elephant, they think "That can't be real; I must be seeing things again."

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  4. Jaye wrote: Although I'm still going to go out and buy Dark Need (guy on the front's a babe), is there any difference between an ARC and a store bought copy?

    About twenty words and phrases' worth of difference. ARCs are uncorrected galleys -- typeset versions of a manuscript -- which have been bound but have not yet been corrected by the author. As far as Dark Need goes, the ARC is 99.9% accurate, with only about twenty different minor errors, so the reading experience won't be measurably different. Not all ARCs are that clean; I've had some of mine issued with hundreds of errors, missing scenes and in one case, missing the last ten pages of the story.

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  5. So would a cozy mystery be at the quilting bee? Or a bake sale? ;)

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  6. Pixel Faerie wrote: So would a cozy mystery be at the quilting bee? Or a bake sale? ;)

    I met historical fiction author Ed West at a quilt show. :) One cozy mystery writer I knew did some signings in beauty salons, as her series protagonist owned and operated one.

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  7. Is this what they call guerrilla marketing?
    Love the signs.

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  8. Anne Rice did the bloodmobile one for one of her vampire books.

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  9. Hi,
    How did Douglas Clegg get his name plugged into Dark Need as a daiquiri? Did Mr. Clegg promise to make a contribution to your favorite charity, like the Writers Anonymous Retirement Fund? ;-) Pretty funny!

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  11. Early comment by me deleted because I garbled part of an answer.

    Bernita wrote: Is this what they call guerrilla marketing?

    Only when Ann Coulter does it -- and I hear she's going to be signing at the next WWF big event. Lol.

    Linda wrote: Anne Rice did the bloodmobile one for one of her vampire books.

    Truth, stranger that PBW fiction. ;)

    EA wrote: How did Douglas Clegg get his name plugged into Dark Need as a daiquiri?

    That was all my idea, to landmark a landmark in Doug Clegg's life, which I blogged about here. I don't often tuckerize other authors, but when I do I try to make the name placement fun. A marine research vessel in Afterburn is named the Briggs for one of my favorite authors, Patricia Same Last Name. And I'm going to get Alison Kent next. :)

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  12. And I'm going to get Alison Kent next. :)

    Hey, now! Let's remember that paybacks come in all shapes and sizes. :)

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  13. Alison wrote: Hey, now! Let's remember that paybacks come in all shapes and sizes. :)

    That's what makes it fun, lol.

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