Shop local!

I am a terrible local Cambridge resident.  This becomes more apparent every day, as I am continuously discovering things I knew were there, yet I didn’t really know were there.  Like the independently owned bookstore under a mile from my house.

The store in question is called Porter Square Books, they have been in the same spot for a while, and I don’t believe I have ever made a purchase there.  Worse, while perusing their shelves on Saturday I spotted three or four books I had to order online from Amazon because I couldn’t find them anywhere else.  They also sell locally made pastries and coffee, promote local restaurants that serve locally-grown food, and there is a better than even chance the owner’s kids went to school with mine.

I was in there Saturday because I have a book to promote, as you may have heard.  Which means I am not just a book-reader that ignored the local bookstore, I am the author that only walked into the local bookstore when there was something in it for him.  I am a terrible person.

Anyway.  I was hesitant to discuss Immortal with them initially, because the book will only be available from Amazon initially (on 10/1/10, did I mention?  I did?  Okay.) and won’t likely end up on shelves until a month or two after that.  And while I’m sure the local bookstore wouldn’t mind promoting the local author, promoting the local author who says “yes, you can buy a copy online” probably wouldn’t fly.

Still, I asked: do they have a local author program?  The answer, amusingly enough was, “it seems like one in four Cambridge residents are poets.  Are you a poet?”

He seemed excited that I am not.

I’ll be looking into having Porter Square Books carry copies on consignment.  More on this later.

GoodReads

Following one of the suggestions made on a blog last week about promoting myself online, more than one reader suggested setting up promotional giveaways on GoodReads.  Great! I thought.  What in the holy hell is GoodReads?

GoodReads is my new obsession.  I’m just not sure I’m using it correctly.  For instance:

DO list every book you’ve ever read, a process that can take months and annoy all of your Facebook friends when GoodReads starts randomly posting your listings without asking permission from you first;

DO sign up as a GoodReads Author so your readers can find you through your books;

DO NOT pimp your own books everywhere, as this is apparently tasteless on GoodReads despite being expected everywhere else on the Internet;

DO create a listing for your not-yet-released book to drum up early interest (add Immortal to your bookshelf here);

DO NOT write a review of the book yourself, even if that review is just a copy of your own website description and obviously so.

I’m getting the hang of it, though.  DO follow/friend or fan me, or whatever it’s called there.  I am set up as a GoodReads Author and welcome fans and friends, and I’m sure once we get closer to publication I’ll be hosting a few giveaways.

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