Friday, November 20, 2009
St. Mark's Bookshop Now Carries Shades of Luz
I was beginning to think I’d never get it into a book shop. Now maybe I didn’t bumrush enough of them but I did make a number of appearances. I won’t get into all the details about it right now. After a week of having little of any success even getting independent bookshops to consider my book let alone carry it I finally hit pay dirt.
And you would think with it being NYC Independent Bookstore Week I would’ve had a better shot. Not the case. The moral of the story is to never make assumptions. And, more importantly, not to give up.
Yesterday, I was bushed by the end of the day. I’d been pounding the pavement searching for a happy home to carry Shades of Luz. I’d visited few shops and the last one on my itinerary, Bluestockings, seemed to have gone pretty well. I had a very good conversation with one of the staffers. I really respect their shop. They have a great selection of interesting reads: culture, gender studies, non-partisan politics, fiction (both on and off the grid). They’re also in an awesome location off Allen Street in the Lower East Side. As great as my drop-in chat went we ended things at still in the talking phase which is fine.
I must add however that I was directed to St. Mark’s Bookshop which I of course already knew about, but hadn’t pursued. Yeah, I’m a procrastinator, but I get overwhelmed. I could put my book on any shelf throughout the country. Who’s shelf should I hit first? It would be great to stumble upon the ordered list of where I should turn to first. Truth is, it doesn’t matter you just got to get it out there.
For some reason, I had it in my head that St. Mark’s Bookshop was closer to Tompkins Square Park and though I walked back and forth up the block and around the block, grabbed a slice of pizza, scratched my head and was ready to pack it in I decided to swing it up 9th Street, poked my head in Solas for a minute a had a beer to wind down. I should count my blessings I told myself. The hell with them my feet were sore. I was tired. I was in that woozy state where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to take a nap or do an Irish jig. I don’t know if you ever have the mood to do the Irish jig when you are bushed, but sometimes it comes to me. I also trip over the same song in my head. “Ninety-nine Luft Balloons” was playing in mine, not on the stereo.
So anyway I got myself onto my feet, declined the jig, paid for beer and sluffed off. When I crossed onto 3rd Avenue I noticed from my peripheral view that St. Mark’s Bookshop was to my left. Unbelievable. After all that galumphing. So I went in and perused the mags and books for a bit. I never go straight up to anybody. I need to kill more time. Go over the rejection in my head a little, let it stew.
I went to the back and made my little spiel, in a voice that was in desperate need of Darjeeling and honey. I don’t remember when exactly I pulled out my copy of Shades of Luz from my backpack, but somehow it made its way onto the counter. The guy didn’t even look at it and I’m thinking “What the hell?” and I’m ready to leave when he says. “We’ll give it a shot.”
I didn’t jump through my skin, but I wanted to. He let me put a couple of my postcards in the front of the shop. “Three months,” he said. “If it doesn’t sell in three months you know the deal.”
Indeed I did.
I left the shop with my leather jacket unbuttoned and did my version of the Irish jig until I made it to the Astor Place station.