I’ve heard a lot of novel ways to sell books (nice pun, huh? This is why I get the big bucks). Lee Child told me how he strolled through a London commuter train, handing out free copies of his book. For the next week or so after his stunt, any time someone got on the train, it looked like everybody in England was reading his book… and sales spiked. Another author told me how, after his publisher told him women weren’t reading him, he sent copies of his books to hairdressers across the country to spike word-of-mouth. It worked.
My brother Tod passed along this tidbit about an author who did a book-signing on a plane to Italy… with mixed results.
“Have a free book,” I say again, my cheeks straining under the evident pleasure this is giving me. A hand comes out. “I’m the author,” I announce. And, for some reason, this seems to do the trick. Maybe it’s pity. Maybe it’s curiosity. But hand after hand is thrust towards me.
“Is it free?” comes a question.
“Oh, yes,” I reply. “And it’s very good.”
“Tuscany for Beginners,” reads a rather large lady, her forefinger tracing the title. “But that’s where we’re going.”
“I know,” I grin. “Isn’t it great?”
“Is it about love?” asks a bloke.
“There’s some in there,” I reply.
“Yuk, no thanks,” he says, handing it straight back.