Who Was Lisbeth’s Publicist?

As we approach the season for gift-giving, I am sure that we will be asked to give suggestions about what gifts in particular we wish for.  We know that we are being asked to make suggestions for things that can be wrapped  so we aren’t allowed to get by with asking for peace-on-earth, health-and-long-life for lovesd ones, or, even, my fondest wish when my children were children, that they pick up their rooms and do homework without having to be told.
I make my list easy.  I always ask for books.  Not only are they the gift that keeps on giving, but thanks to Amazon and various websites, I can spread out the holiday season by requesting books that I know aren’t being published until  well into the next year.
Books, for everyone, make-up the largest category of gifts under our tree.  The mention of books leads me to ask, again,  for people to post reviews of their favorite books on various websites because this is the only way  most authors have to call attention to their books.  Publishers do not provide their mid-list authors with publicity assistance.  The two best ways of getting an author’s name out to the public are word of mouth and show-and-tell or, at the very least, show.  Public transportation, waiting rooms, long lines at the post office are perfect venues for displaying books and piquing the interest of those around us.  Carry the book in such a way that the cover or, at the very least, the spine of the book can be seen.
In the summer of 2003, this book was everywhere.  I noticed when I was waiting for my daughter at the T station, that it seemed that everyone who got off the train was carrying this book.  One day I went to the station about 30 minutes early.  During rushhour(s), the trains arrive every 5 to 7 minutes.  So I counted the number of copies I saw as people came out to the parking lot.  It averaged that every sixth person was carrying this book.  (I didn’t say they were reading it; sometimes I wonder if people carry certain books so they will appear part of a trend).  The publisher didn’t need to pay for publicity; the book was getting ample attention without the need to spend a dime.  I read it.  Every book I have reviewed on this blog is better than THE DA VINCI CODE.  Granted the books I have reviewed don’t have an anti-Christian bias or spells and symbols and that may impact on their sales.    The books reviewed on this blog stand on their merits.
The current cultural phenomenon, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, was dependent on readers’ enthusiasm because Larsson wasn’t available to do Oprah, Charlie Rose, or the late night talk shows.  Larsson and Brown can’t be compared.  One Brown was enough; there aren’t enough Larssons to satisfy fans.
So, if you have read a book you can’t put down, let people know.  Reviews can be posted on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and GoodReads.  They can also be posted on Murder By Type.  Some brave souls have done so and I welcome all who are willing to share their thoughts and opinions.  When someone is ready to take the plunge, email the review to murderblog@yahoo.com.

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4 Responses to Who Was Lisbeth’s Publicist?

  1. Condorena says:

    Beth,
    This is a good idea. I am always too vague and ask for books from my list or a gift certificate which is just too impersonal. The answer is always pretty much the same, that I already have BOOKs. What a crazy answer! It is like saying that since you slept last night you won’t have to it again for a long time. There are those who only read once in a while and never read the back of cereal boxes and the labels on the Heinz ketchup, which I always buy because it is the most edifying and not always the same. They have good marketing gurus. They are readers obviously.

    • Beth says:

      I always request books of different sizes so that I always have something that fits into different sized hand-bags and totes. When I leave the house, I have a book under my arm, a book in my bag, and one or two in the car, just in case. Soho publishes books that are the perfect size to fit in bags. Andrea Camilleri’s books are also easy to carry around. Books for doctor’s waiting rooms need to have a high page count but they can’t require too much concentration because I am easily distracted by all the comings and goings in a busy office. I have never read the back of the Heinz ketchup bottles; I will have to pay attention the next time there is one on the table. When my oldest was young, she would take one of each leaflet on the bulletin board in the supermarket and stuff them in my bag. Naturally, I read all of them although none convinced me to try the product or the service offered.

  2. shirley nienkark says:

    I’ve asked for books and the reply was “Don’t you have enough?’
    This year I’m asking for Rachel Brady’s book due out in December. Her first novel “Final Approach” made her my favorite new author of the past year.

  3. Beth says:

    Now, Shirley, you have done your job as a publicist. I had not heard of the author or the book. I just put a hold on it at the library.

    Thank you.

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