Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Buy This Book!

Today, I finished reading galleys for A PERILOUS CONCEPTION, my December release from Poisoned Pen Press. That's the last step in writing the book.

And now comes the promotional work, nothing new and different. Read "Building the Brand," by Tony Perrottet, in the May 1 edition of the New York Times Book Review.

I'm not a salesman by nature. For a while, my wife, daughter and I ran a sideline business in antiques, and I had real trouble when it came time to convince a potential buyer he or she couldn't live without a particular item on our shelves. It was near-routine for one of my associates to tell me to please go take a nice walk around the show, and stay out of their way.

Maybe if I work at it, though, I could become one of those awful shills on the radio. Say, the hard-sell guy: "How much longer are you going to put up with those mystery novels that sink you into a coma after fifty pages? Are you masochistic or something? You owe it to yourself to buy A PERILOUS CONCEPTION. I challenge you! Act in the next sixty seconds, and you can pre-order it from amazon for $16.47, a saving of a full third over the suggested retail price of $24.95."

Or, how about the bird who preys on the need to keep up with the Joneses? "You're having a wonderful day – everything's gone right for you...until you pull up a chair at Happy Hour, and your girlfriend says, 'What do you think of A PERILOUS CONCEPTION? Is that Pulitzer material, or what?' Can you picture her face - never mind the suddenly-empty chair beside you - when you have to admit you haven't read it?"

Then, there's the slime-throated creep who wants us all to go down and talk to his friend...no, his good friend, who you can trust, at the car dealership, the mattress store, or the wellness emporium. "You need to go down and see my friends, the good folks at Seattle Mystery Bookshop. You can trust them to fix you up right with a copy of the very book you simply have to read. I'm talking about A PERILOUS CONCEPTION, the ultimate Seattle-based mystery." Hmm. The staff at SMB really are my friends, and you really can trust them to fix you up with just the right book for your reading taste. (Ignore the final sentence in that palaver, and we've got a first in radio advertising).

Best of all, I think, is the testimonial. "I'm here with Ophelia Waye, prominent reader of mystery novels. Ophelia, tell me, how has reading A PERILOUS CONCEPTION changed your life?" "Well, it's a revelation, Larry, nothing less. For more than ten years now, I've been reading two, sometimes three, mystery novels a day, and never felt satisfied. I just had to read more and more of those darned books. But A PERILOUS CONCEPTION cured my compulsion. I'll never read another mystery. Now, I spend fourteen hours a day watching television. My husband noticed the difference immediately, and I couldn't be happier."

3 comments:

Susan Schreyer said...

ROTFL!! I'm wiping tears away, Larry! You missed your calling in sleazy sales -- or at least writing sleazy, cliche sales! And don't you know that's precisely how I feel when I mention I have books for sale -- looks like I'm in excellent company!

lisastowe said...

Hi Larry: followed Susan's link over here and absolutely loved this post. We met ages ago when I spoke to your group on running writer's groups...glad to catch up with you again, and glad to hear how well your books are doing.
Lisa

john M. Daniel said...

Well, I for one will buy that book, but not because you you're a slick salesman. Actually, you are a super salesman when it comes to selling a story. I found that out by reading your Ragtime trilogy.

By the way, I just received page proofs for my forthcoming book. I know the thrill you're feeling.

I hope your sales efforts, whatever they may be, result in a magnificent reception for a Perilous Conception.