Friday, May 22, 2015

FICTION AND FURNITURE


Most authors aren’t closet writers.  We want to have our books “out there” reaching as wide an audience as possible.  For that, as we all know, we need PR.  Good ol’ word of mouth, five star reviews (I’ll take four!), book signings, book club talks, blogs like this one, social media chitchat, in short anything to bring our work to the public eye.

 So when an innovative PR idea surfaces, why not grab for the gold ring?  One such golden PR opportunity came to me through a furniture store.  That’s right, a furniture store. 

 Here’s how it worked:  The store, co-sponsored by a local book seller and benefiting a local charity, created what they called a Writer’s Domain Event.  Ten writers were invited to participate and each was “nestled” in his/her personal “domain.”  These domains were scattered throughout the store, so as customers wandered around looking at mattresses and dining room tables and leather sofas, they “bumped into” the various authors.

 
After I answered some questions about what my writing environment was like, a “domain” was created for me that included a dining room table with a coffee service at one end, a wine bottle and stemmed glasses on the other, a vase of fresh roses and a leather-bound notebook.  Who couldn’t create, or at least daydream, in a spot like that?

 The Writers Domain event was well publicized in the local press, through ads and feature articles.  An evening cocktail party kicked off the celebration, and on Saturday afternoon, the general public was welcome.  Very welcome.  All books were sold by the book dealer, not the individual authors, which kept us free to meet people and talk about our latest releases.

 True, my Murders by Design Mystery Series features an amateur sleuth who is also an interior designer, so my stories fit the setting very well.  But fellow authors included writers of police forensic cases, sci-fi thrillers, a study of Caribbean architecture, a YA romance.  In other words,  any book would lend itself to an event of this type.


All you need is a local store—any good-sized retailer with significant foot traffic will do—and suggest a similar idea.  If you have books to sell, fine; if you don’t, give visitors to your “domain” postcards, book marks, pens, note pads, anything that publicizes your novels.
 
Furniture and books?  A new odd couple?  Perhaps.  But as I found out the easy way,  they do cohabit well together.
 
 
 
 


 
 

 

 

 

6 comments:

Marcelle Dubé said...

What a clever idea, Jean! Good on ya for taking advantage of it.

jean harrington said...

Thanks Marcelle, it was a fun experience. Best of all, I got to meet some wonderful people who love to read.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Oh my gosh, what a super-cool idea! I think that would be a lot of fun (and I could people-watch while I worked). ;)

jean harrington said...

Yes, Anne Marie, the Writer's Domain" offers an excellent PR opportunity, and it can be implemented in every kind of retail setting.

Rita said...

This is BRILLIANT. How fun.

Sandy Parks said...

What a great idea! Sounded like a fun night that promised great discussions with shoppers.