I am a terrible local Cambridge resident. This becomes more apparent every day, as I am continuously discovering things I knew were there, yet I didn’t really know were there. Like the independently owned bookstore under a mile from my house.
The store in question is called Porter Square Books, they have been in the same spot for a while, and I don’t believe I have ever made a purchase there. Worse, while perusing their shelves on Saturday I spotted three or four books I had to order online from Amazon because I couldn’t find them anywhere else. They also sell locally made pastries and coffee, promote local restaurants that serve locally-grown food, and there is a better than even chance the owner’s kids went to school with mine.
I was in there Saturday because I have a book to promote, as you may have heard. Which means I am not just a book-reader that ignored the local bookstore, I am the author that only walked into the local bookstore when there was something in it for him. I am a terrible person.
Anyway. I was hesitant to discuss Immortal with them initially, because the book will only be available from Amazon initially (on 10/1/10, did I mention? I did? Okay.) and won’t likely end up on shelves until a month or two after that. And while I’m sure the local bookstore wouldn’t mind promoting the local author, promoting the local author who says “yes, you can buy a copy online” probably wouldn’t fly.
Still, I asked: do they have a local author program? The answer, amusingly enough was, “it seems like one in four Cambridge residents are poets. Are you a poet?”
He seemed excited that I am not.
I’ll be looking into having Porter Square Books carry copies on consignment. More on this later.
Following one of the suggestions made on a blog last week about promoting myself online, more than one reader suggested setting up promotional giveaways on GoodReads. Great! I thought. What in the holy hell is GoodReads?
GoodReads is my new obsession. I’m just not sure I’m using it correctly. For instance:
DO list every book you’ve ever read, a process that can take months and annoy all of your Facebook friends when GoodReads starts randomly posting your listings without asking permission from you first;
DO sign up as a GoodReads Author so your readers can find you through your books;
DO NOT pimp your own books everywhere, as this is apparently tasteless on GoodReads despite being expected everywhere else on the Internet;
DO create a listing for your not-yet-released book to drum up early interest (add Immortal to your bookshelf here);
DO NOT write a review of the book yourself, even if that review is just a copy of your own website description and obviously so.
I’m getting the hang of it, though. DO follow/friend or fan me, or whatever it’s called there. I am set up as a GoodReads Author and welcome fans and friends, and I’m sure once we get closer to publication I’ll be hosting a few giveaways.