February 11, 2006

Imaginary Resources

My friend Beth Lisick (author of, most recently, the excellent and hilarious book Everybody into the Pool, about which I gushed here) was kind enough to mention King Dork in this poll of "what local authors are reading" in the San Francisco Examiner. Sweet.

Similarly, in a sense, the Secret Garden Bookshop in Seattle, which came on my googly radar because someone on their staff staff-picked King Dork, has now become my favorite bookshop of all time. I mean, it is beyond question pretty much the best bookshop of all time by my own admittedly narcissistic standard for judging the overall worth of such a shop, since nearly half the staff has now blurbed it (here, here, here, and of course here) and they even put it on their front page. If you want to win a guy's esteem and devotion, that's certainly one way to do it. I don't know if there are any other ways, in fact.

Moving right along: it is now possible to comment on Amazon Connect blog posts. Only one person has commented on mine so far (which makes you wonder if anyone is even reading the damn thing, but that's something you always wonder.) The comment was a question, and it's a common one: am I going on a book tour for King Dork?

The answer is, well, I'm not sure how much of a book tour I'll be able to afford. "First authors" don't have much pull with publishers, and as even established professional bigshots will tell you, you're pretty much on your own when it comes to promoting your book except under exceptional circumstances. "Resources" are scarce. Particularly chez moi. You'd be shocked at how little there is in the way of resources around here. (I'm going to stop typing about this now before I start weeping or something...)

I'm looking into some local events (including, I hope, an MTX show in advance of the street date, where people will be able to get the book before it's in stores.) I may be able to swing a couple of trips to the hinterland, maybe to my aforementioned favorite bookshop in Seattle, maybe to New York. We're still trying to come up with a plan and of course I'll let you know if we ever manage to come up with one. (I'm also hoping to do an MTX tour later on that will likely include some booky things as well, but that's a whole nother subject.)

In the meantime, it occurs to me that there just might be other cool, funky bookstores which wouldn't kick me out if I tried to go there and hawk my book. Just for the sake of argument, on the outside chance that I could figure out a way to get there without hastening overmuch the financial ruin for which I am, admittedly, destined anyway, I'd like some suggestions, if you've got any. Know any good places in your area? Leave them in the comments and I will read them through the tears, and pass them on to "my people" through the tears, too.

Posted by Dr. Frank at February 11, 2006 05:16 PM | TrackBack

i work at an indie bookstore in acton, ma called willow books (www.willowbooks.net). i've been talking about your book even though i haven't read it yet. (i'm convinced they only make galleys for shitty books.) there's live jazz on fridays (the owner plays drums in a band) and we have a section for local artists' cds so its a pretty musical place. i can see an acoustic performance going over well.

Posted by: matt flynn. at February 11, 2006 05:28 PM

Come To Philly!

Posted by: Ryan at February 11, 2006 06:05 PM

I live by three really sweet Tower stores here in Sacramento. They're located on Broadway and the three stores (Books, Records & Video) are situated around each other on the same street corner (similarly, Tower Theatre and Tower Cafe are located across the street). There's a little space outside Tower Records where bands sometime perform, so it would be possible for you to play outside. I frequent all the stores and the employees are all really cool.

Posted by: chuck at February 11, 2006 06:21 PM

Reading Frenzy in Portland is great, but small. Might be better for a solo show.

Posted by: Nate at February 11, 2006 06:45 PM

"rust city books" in buffalo would meet your definitions of "funky"... check them out.

Posted by: chris riordan at February 11, 2006 06:46 PM

i suggest one of the cool bookstores in Berkeley/Oakland, like half-price, black oak, or pendragon/pegasus.

Posted by: Nick G. at February 11, 2006 06:47 PM

And I probably forgot to mention, when I asked the question, that I was hoping Seattle would be on the list, if there was a tour.


Posted by: jodi at February 11, 2006 07:43 PM

Bookpeople in Austin!

Posted by: Josh Maxwell at February 11, 2006 07:52 PM

Hey Doc! Hit up TRASH AMERICAN STYLE here in Danbury, CT! Ask for Malcom. It's an independent store that sells books, tapes, CDs, records, etc. Pretty much anything really. Especially obscure. www.trashamericanstyle.com
They've had free shows there too from time to time. I'm sure you could get some decent numbers.

Posted by: Rich at February 12, 2006 12:10 AM

You could try Bookmans in either Tucson or Phoenix. They have local people in there all the time so I'm sure they'd take someone from out of town.

Posted by: Amy 80 at February 12, 2006 03:15 AM

Trident Books in Boston.
One of the last indie bookstores in Boston!

Posted by: Katherine at February 12, 2006 04:49 AM

and i almost forgot, Moes's books on telegraph in Berkeley.

Posted by: Nick G. at February 12, 2006 07:54 AM

You should know from Diogenes of Sinope that people would rather give money to a beggar than to a philosopher... Go live in a barrel, it ought to save you a lot of money ;)

Posted by: Javier at February 12, 2006 04:00 PM

Actually, Javier, I do live in a sort of barrel.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at February 12, 2006 04:03 PM

Then roll along (or row along, if youīre floating amid San Francisco Bay), good luck and donīt forget to eat your onions.

If your prose is as fresh as your music, things ought to go just fine. People still seem to be reading books, they are a stubborn kind, arenīt they.

Posted by: Javier at February 12, 2006 04:46 PM

Haslam's in St. Pete, Florida is very good; what it lacks in funkiness is probably made up for by the large amount of people nearby whose formative years were soundtracked by your music.

Posted by: Eric at February 12, 2006 08:15 PM

Brazos Bookstore in Houston

Posted by: Dusty at February 12, 2006 09:42 PM

Barbara's Bookstore in Oak Park (Chicago) IL. on Lake Street is a great little place.

Posted by: Pat at February 13, 2006 03:38 PM

Glad you asked. My friend Carrie manages a little store called Jonathan Benton Booksellers (205-870-8840). She is an MTX fan, so needless to say, when I mentioned to her your YA novel coming out she was ecstatic and wondered how on earth she might get you to come here.

The catch: "here" is all the way down in Birmingham, AL. If resources allow you to make it that far on your trek, however, please don't hesitate.

Posted by: Kevin at February 13, 2006 11:29 PM

Casco Bay Books in Portland, ME is pretty cool. They let some chick braid hair for 3 bucks there, so I'm sure they wouldn't mind you coming in and doing something with your book (obviously, the two are comparable activities). It's also worth mentioning that it's in a building with a great record store (by Maine standards) and an excellent pizza place (by pretty much any standard), and there are some decent bars and things to do around here too. I will warn you, though, the store is pretty small, and they have several Noam Chomsky books on display on their 'Picks' table.

Posted by: Michael C. at February 15, 2006 09:46 PM

Well, Frank, what about speaking at libraries? Usually you can work in cahoots with local bookstores (they bring the books and sell them for you) but of course you could bring your own merch person to handle commerce while you sign copies. Libraries are always looking for appealing programs for teens, and many would even pay you to speak! Not a lot, perhaps, but at least at the end of the night the friendly teen services librarian wouldn't throw 14 cents and a cup of her own urine at you...

Let me know if you'd like local contacts or more information!

Posted by: Nicole Reader at February 18, 2006 07:55 PM