In-Store Promotion

Jeff Hentosz sends along this picture of the sign promoting my appearance next week at the Barnes & Noble in Columbus’ Easton Town Center:


I’m pretty sure the actual sheep are Photoshopped in. But it would be funny if they were not. And look at the attention to Photoshop detail — shadows and everything. It’s as if Jeff were a graphic designer or something.

I’m trying to decide what I’ll read at the appearance. I sometimes read from the first chapter of TAD, but it’s got a whole lot of profanity in it, which is probably not appropriate for a book store in a mall. So I think I may read from the first part of the third chapter, which both introduces the hero and explains why the governor of Nebraska was sent to prison after some aliens visited his state. That’s fairly amusing. I may also read either a snippet from The Last Colony or “The Sagan Diary,” depending; it might be fun to give folks who show up a sneak preview of what I’m writing.

On the subject of bookstores, I’m hearing from a couple of folks that they’ve spotted TAD in the general fiction section, not in the science fiction, which I think is interesting. If that’s happening I suspect it’s due to the cover art, which despite the presence of an android on it does not immediately scream “Science Fiction” the way many science fiction covers do. I know I’ve seen Cherie Priest and Nick Sagan’s books shelved in general fiction because they’ve had atypical covers. Will this be a positive or negative for sales? I haven’t the slightest idea. I don’t mind the book being shelved with general fiction; I think it’s good enough to compete there. But I also know my editor reads the Whatever, so if there’s an issue with it, he’ll get on the horn to the store reps and deal with it. Yay Intarweebs!

Hey, for those of you who have read/are read TAD, someone posted a question on Yahoo! Answers wanting to know if the book was good and worth her time and money. If you’ve got a Yahoo account, let her know your thoughts, would you? I’d tell myself I think the book is fairly decent, but I think that might be a little creepy to have the author show up and try to hand sell you his book.

23 Comments on “In-Store Promotion”

  1. Daddy, an I say that is so fucking awesome? Cool!

    I am loving the book. I am sad it’s ending shortly. Fortunately my wife is sick so I have no time to read much today and I will not finish until Sunday! Anticipation is my coke zero!

  2. On the subject of bookstores, I’m hearing from a couple of folks that they’ve spotted TAD in the general fiction section, not in the science fiction, which I think is interesting.
    Interesting what bookstores do, idnit?

    A similar thing happened to John Ringo (a mostly science-fiction author) – he wrote a “modern day” action/thriller series, and the first and third books appeared in my local bookstore in the General Fiction section, but the second was shelved in Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

    When I asked the staff about it, they said that even though they weren’t SF, they should have *all* been shelved in SF/F because “that’s what he’s known for”…

    Of course, I’m amazed none of it was shelved in Romance.

  3. Same thing with Graham Joyce, I just never know where I going to find his books shelved (Lit, SF/F, Horror, Juvie).

    I say read the first chapter, cuss words and all. I mean, these days kids are so uncreative when it comes to cussing. Time to show them how it’s done.

    Chang, I thought anticipation was your ketchup?

  4. Regading the artwork, I was noticing how it wasn’t your usual SF-y type of art. And how that would help get it noticed outside of the SF-y racks.

    The big test was bringing it to Lil Chang’s Gymnastics class. The other dads were eyeing it as if it were literature. Cool.

  5. I once found Carl Sagan’s Broca’s Brain in the Science Fiction section.

    Apparently bookstores do this sort of thing quite a lot. Because every case someone notices, there are probably more cases that go unnoticed.

    And, regarding the picture, while it’s really cool, and there is certainly a loving attention to details, I’m not sure the shadows are a good example in general.
    If you’d pay attention to the sign, or more obviously to the leg holding the sign (the one which isn’t obscured by a sheep’s head), you’d notice that it doesn’t cast a shadow in the direction the sheep does. Plus, by the brightness on the back of the sheep behind the sign, it should be lighted in the other direction from where its shadow goes to.
    Yes, yes, I’m a petty person. I know.

  6. TAD was in the Science fiction section here in the Tampa B&N store. Only two copies left, of which I purchased one. The Sci Fi section here is strange though, and one almost has to look in two places to find an author on occaision.

  7. “I sometimes read from the first chapter of TAD, but it’s got a whole lot of profanity in it, which is probably not appropriate for a book store in a mall. ”

    Well, it’s not actually IN the mall. B&N at Easton is a freestanding building, a very LARGE freestanding building, right across from The Cheesecake Factory.

    That said, I’ve seen other authors doing the meet & greet thing there while passing through, and where they usually are is right outside the childrens book area.

  8. As a matter of fact, from looking at that picture, the sign indicated is on the second floor outisde the childrens section near the general fiction and science fiction shelves.

  9. Oooh, Photoshop trash talk. Awesome.
    Y’know, Yaron — punk — it’s probably just me, but I’d have thought the tip-off would be that the sheep are blue. And milling around in a book store. Ohio’s not that rural; yes, we have a working cow pasture within a mile of downtown Columbus, but we are cultured enough to keep the livestock outdoors. More often than not, anyway.
    Seriously, I snapped the sign with my cell phone, then for fun tossed in a couple copies of a stock-photo sheep and, being me, had to lay down a little “fake verisimilitude.” The shadow issues are largely intentional. To paraphrase one of my Photoshop idols, the great Glenn Mitsui, something along the lines of “No shadow, bad; lots shadow, good. Light source? Perspective? Bah, I had enough of that as a draftsman at Boeing.”
    Works for me. If Photoshop were a piano I’d say I play jazz, not chamber music. (And I’m sorry I called you a punk.)

  10. Whome?NoIwasjustdrivingbackandforthacrossthestatetodayand

  11. Thanks, by the way, to y’all for the compliments. Nathan, better keep an eye on that nice new trash can. Still a little Red Bull in the tank. heh, heh, heh.

  12. Oh, I don’t know about the sheep being a tip-off. After all we weren’t told just how large the marketing budget for the book is. I’m sure that getting a couple of sheep, painting them blue, and sticking them inside a bookstore, may very well fit someone’s idea of how to attract attention. Especially if that someone has a quirky sense of humour and wants to get their severance pay and switch jobs. ;-)

    And as for the punk thing, well, all I have to say on this is that I am not the one with blue hair.

    And, erm, is there something between B&N and The Cheesecake Factory? I’ve only been to the US once (Not Ohio, though) and I noticed about three of each, two of which were right next to each other… I didn’t make a connection, as the sample size was way too small for that, but reading now that it happens in other places….

  13. Yaron: B&N does sell Cheesecake Factory cheesecake in their cafes. But their brick-and-mortar physical proximity is just co-incidental, a manifestation of a peculiar burp in space-time.
    I’m sure the blue on the sheep is not paint. It’s more likely a rinse. And I always thought the colored hair thing was more post-punk, New Romantic, proto-Goth. But maybe I’m just being petty. :-P
    Ah, what do I know? I got no hair.

  14. I loved the book, but as a Phillies fan I must say how disappointed I was in the sentiment stated within it that the Washington Senators are the worst team in baseball history. The Phillies have so many records regarding losses (longest ever losing streak plus most last place finishees, losing seasons, seasons of 100 losses or more, most consecutive 100+ seasons… I need to stop, getting depressed) that characterizing the Senators are worse is… well.. actually, somehow fitting. :-)

  15. Well, to be fair, in the book the Senators are characterized as the second-most pathetic team in baseball. Which is slightly different than being the worst. I think “pathetic” can encompass being good enough to, say, make the playoffs, but never getting the World Series win. Which is why the Cubs are the most pathetic team in baseball, in the Android universe, and in this one.

  16. Ahh, the foibles of making a comment without double-checking my memory against the text. I’ll grant that there is a difference between most pathetic and worst. However, without taking this thread off topic, I would argue that the Phillies have done a rather marvelous job at being pathetic as well.

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