Monday, January 12, 2009
Gimme a ''Mama'' To Go
By Deborah Sharp
This is how I imagine it might happen at little Gladys' diner in Okeechobee, Fla.
"Hey Bertie, how 'bout a cup of coffee, a slice of pie . . . and what the heck? I'll take a Mama Does Time while you're at it.''
With the kind encouragement of the good folks at Gladys', I dropped off a box of books for sale there last week. The down-home diner makes a cameo in Mama, and they seem pleased at the recognition. It helps that everyone in the book adores the restaurant, and nobody gets offed by tainted biscuits and sausage gravy.
As a newbie author, I'm trying to swim outside the usual promotional channels: bookstores, conventions, library gatherings. It's a challenge. I'd like to claim a grand business plan involving synergy, product placement, and marketing platforms. But the truth is Gladys' wound up in the book because I like the food and their cool, 50s-era sign. It fits in Himmarshee, Fla., my made-up small town based loosely on Okeechobee.
If I were a marketing genius, I wouldn't have set my Mace Bauer Mystery series in a part of Florida with no bookstore and more cows than people. But that's a topic for another day.
I'll keep you posted on the Great Gladys' Experiment. But meanwhile, I'm curious about other unusual sales venues. Any authors out there market their books in out-of-the-ordinary ways? Readers, what's the strangest place you've ever bought a book?