Monday, May 10, 2010

Backroom Blues

A thousand years ago, I worked at K-Mart in Missoula, Montana. One of our managers (he always said good morning in German) clucked at me when I was slow to unpack certain merchandise and get it onto the showroom shelves. "Kristin, you can't sell what's in the backroom," he said. One of those little nuggets of wisdom that has followed me through my life...and I can't even remember the guy's name.

So now my book is out. No longer anticipated but really out there for sale. Besides my publisher, who does what she can, I am responsible to get the book out of the backroom. So folks ask me why I'm not reading in a bookstore? Where are the bookstore debuts?

Well, guess what, folks, there are no bookstores.

Yeah, there are B&N and other large Seattle bookstores. But why invite a first-time novelist of lesbian romances when they can get Sarah Waters, Alice Walker, or anyone else who'll draw a crowd? I've tried contacting a few of those bookstores and don't even get the old F.O. from them. The last gay friendly bookstore closed last year. Oh, not that those big bookstores are gay unfriendly...quite the opposite...but Sarah Waters, Alice Walker and the other big names need to visit bookstores too. So they get to have the readings and signings.

The rest of us have to use the networks we've built over the years, web-based or otherwise. And, frankly, I'm so grateful we at least have this medium for book promotion. I'm hoping to use it to the max but am not sure what else I can do besides this and Facebook.

Therefore, if anyone has any suggestions for more web-based promotional activities, feel free to let me know. I want to keep my book out of the backroom and get it on a front shelf.

Another topic I want to briefly mention: Star-Crossed Productions, an online lesbian book dealer, has, sadly, gone out of business. I want to thank all those people at SCP who sent me books over the years. They were professional, prompt and hassle-free. I mourn their closing and the loss of those delicious packages full of books arriving at my door. Adieu, Star-Crossed Productions

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