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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Critical Thinking

So, here's the deal.

A friend of mine (IRL--yes, I do too have...some. Maybe a couple.) is opening an independent bookstore. She's said that she will welcome author readings and signings.

Do you see where this is going?

How do we, as authors of ebooks, support our local, indy bookstore? I guess Google has a deal set up where bookstores can sell ebooks through their store, but it doesn't support Kindle. I just don't think it's fair to stand up in the bookstore, give a reading, and then say, "Use the bookstore's wifi to download my book from Amazon!"

So I'm trying to think of something else. Some token the reader could buy from the bookstore to show their support. Something super cheap to make, so it would only cost $1 or so, retail.

Of course, my first scheme was to make an ereader cover that has a clear pouch in front. The reader could buy a printed copy of the ebook cover and slip it in the pocket. Buy a new cover for every ebook.

Yeah, that starts getting complicated around the seventh word.

There's always bookmarks, but do people devoted to their ereaders use bookmarks? Stickers would appeal to a narrow fan-base. And some kind of ereader-cover flare would probably not interest people who like to keep their nice things looking nice; or men.

Chapbooks! What do you think of chapbooks? Every author could make up a cheap brochure of just their story. Adoring fans could buy it for a buck, authors would have something to autograph, and it would still directly plug SS. (Who prints it? Who formats it? Do authors use the color illio or come up with their own?)

Of course, I could just make up a bunch of Stupefying Stories t-shirts and go kinda macro--buy one shirt instead of a doodad for each individual edition. But I thought $1 doodads wouldn't seem as financially intimidating.

In addition, I may be going to my first con later this month. It will be small and hopefully not intimidating. For those more experienced, is it bad form to pass out cards or stickers (or chapbooks) publicizing our fine publication? Again, how do you publicize something made of 1s and 0s?

Discuss! If you were at a reading for an ebook, what kind of token would you be willing to buy from the bookstore that would represent the ebook and support the store? Should it be sign-able? Edible? Made with alien technology? Breathing? I'd love to hear your ideas.

(Answers given by Vidad do not reflect the views of The Friday Challenge, Stupefying Stories, or Rampant Loon Media. But we still love him.)

Plot offer: The movie Serenity showed the effects of trying to drug the human race into becoming a peaceful society. Could the reality be far behind?
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