Saturday, February 13, 2010
Who says you can't find interesting things at the Salvation Army? I'm not major frequenter, but I enjoy the hodgepodge, the hope of finding a small lost treasure. Mainly, I like to see if there is anything utilitarian that might enhance the ambiance of my apartment.
Usually, I ransack the book section. It's amazing what gets tossed for junk. Some of it is clearly sub-junk.
While I was debating whether or not to appropriate a second edition Robert Bly book of poems for 79 cents I came across what seemed to be an uncorrected proof of Elizabeth George's new novel "The Body of Death" which is slated for release this Spring. Seven hundred Xerox-copied pages topped with a flimsy mimeographed cover. It had the contact info for the editor associated with the book. Now I'm not dumb enough to think this was some lone copy. Obviously, a pre-publicity campaign had been launched. Copies sent out to all the usual suspects: newspapers, radio stations, C-SPAN, Oprah, Charlie Rose, The View, etc.
What did strike me as interesting though was the 6 city tour marked on the inside of the book. Six cities. Hmmm. I considered all the top cities recently touted as the cultural meccas of the universe: Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne. But no, there were only 6 American cities listed: New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.
To be sure, this was a pretty decent start, but what Portland, Minneapolis, Santa Fe, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Providence. And what about Canada? I was shocked to see such a small book tour for such an established best seller. I mean, all by mysef I pieced together 8 and half cities. On my dime of course, but still this sort of frightened me.
I recently read that the Beatles in the latter part of the sixties did little touring. One year in fact the Beatles capitalized on a rumor that Paul McCartney died in a car crash. Everybody was stoned those years so the brains behind the band cooked up psychedelic messages on the records when played backwards.
Now in this globalized mobile home-office world of infinite hours PR people have been paid to cut corners. I imagine this is why Elizabeth George, as big as she is, doesn't need to globetrot unless for her own self-needy peregrinations. I actually called up the PR person. Why the hell not? I wouldn't mind a bit of help on my own Shades of Luz campaign. She never called me back, but she did respond to my email and said that if I was so inclined I could keep the uncorrected proof of the book. I never actually bought it.
I picked up a copy of Robert Bly instead.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Set to read at the Trumpet Fiction Series tomorrow night at KGB Bar. Haven't decided what part of Shades of Luz to read from but I am leaning towards a part I've not yet shared in public. Should be oodles of fun.
Some of the Peanut Gallery have been encouraging me to read "Dog Day Afternoon" or the All in The Family" chapter. I've been loading up on too many "All in the Family" shows recently- the repeats they play on TVland on weeknights. I want to keep the surprise as long as possible, but I would have to say that both of those chapters are not high on my list. Sorry. And I am not going to read the chapter that is currently up on my website.
Catch you in the Village.