A big thanks to everyone for linking me and leaving comments - John, Yvonne, Sharon, Ted, Yvonne...!
I must say I learnt a lot about book marketing from my friend, Yvonne Lee. Hence the title of today's blog: Begging, Pleading.
I was reading the Asti Spumanti Code (I know, don't bother asking why), a parody of the Da Vinci Code; the former which I found truly atrocious. But one thing struck me about the main Tom Hanks character - whenever he would go to a bookstore anywhere in the world, he would ensure his books were well displayed on the shelves.
I find myself doing pretty much the same thing too.
And how do the books get there?
Back to my title: Begging, Pleading.
Your publisher's reps will definitely beg and plead and use whatever relationship they have with the purchaser. But don't forget, they market 100 other titles, and you might not be too high a priority on their list. So it all comes back to you - dear author - to beg and plead.
I was on leave for the whole of last week, and I went Begging and Pleading all over. A typical Begging, Pleading mission would go like this:
"Please give me a good display. Please, please, pretty please."
"Please put my posters up. Please, please, please."
"Please put my books up front in the Hot and New Section. Pl...." Uh, you get the drift.
The results of all that Begging, Pleading? It really works! Sometimes within minutes. Not only have I made new friends with the store people, various VERY major bookstores - both in Malaysia and Singapore - have given me:
1. Pillar display space with giant poster
2. Front rack display space
3. Hot and New display space
4. Front table at entrance display space
5. Cash register display space
6. Poster at entrance display
7. Sometimes all simultaneously in the same store!
I don't always get it, of course, but more often than not, I do.
Don't forget, the store managers genuinely want to help Malaysian authors. So a big thanks to Yvonne, the best author-marketeer I have ever known.