This Is What Creative Book Promotion Looks Like

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

I was noodling around on the interweb on Sunday afternoon, as one does when one is trying to find reasons not to write, when I saw this tweet:

@propjen is Feifer’s wife Jennifer Miller, author of the recently published novel The Year of the Gadfly (and this awesome post about the intersection of journalism and fiction). Miller told me her publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt “did a great job with the initial tour, but their budget is only so big,” and she wanted to do something to supplement their efforts. Taking creative book promotion to new (and delicious) heights, she and Feifer set up a “Novelade” Stand–the world’s first?–offering free cookies with the purchase of a book.

The sign on the right reads “Why You’ll Love My Book” and explains:

1. Oprah called it “Engrossing” (and you trust everything she says, right???)
2. Because I’m your neighbor!
3. Great for the beach (or long plane flight or promenade)
4. Lots of teenage awkwardness, check
Page-turning mysteries, check
“Darkly Comic” according to the Washington Post, check

In just over three hours, Miller sold 22 copies of her novel at $20 each (four dollars below list price) and collected email addresses from buyers, whom she’ll enter in a free raffle for another copy of Gadfly. She plans to use the Novelade Stand’s profits to purchase books for future promotions and will put any extra money toward a book tour she is planning for the fall, when she’ll visit Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee (all places she has been cultivating contacts), and the National High School Journalism Convention in San Antonio, TX.

It’s cute, clever, creative, and a prime example of the magic that can happen when an author puts her personality into promotional efforts, but would Miller open the Novelade Stand again?


Readers: What’s the most creative–and effective–thing you’ve seen an author to do promote a book?