Mooner Takes On Barnes&Noble And Starbucks Too; A Writer’s Tale


So. This is a big day for me. After visiting the Barnes & Noble store over to the Arboretum yesterday and having a discussion with the store manager, Charley, I have been doing some serious thinking about book marketing. I shall endeavor to persevere the battle that will be my ADHD-riddled self completing the “Barnes & Noble Acceptance Criteria” to get my book on the shelves of my personal B&N brick and mortar store, and I have come up with what might be a brilliant alternative marketing strategy.

Think about this. Where do people read books? At home, of course, at work during lunch, in bookstores, on benches outside and in coffee shops. Those are the places I think of when I asked myself the question. From the marketing perspectives, I can’t reach many people at home—few sane people open the door to me as a stranger and likewise few businesses would allow me to intrude with a fucking book to sell—you don’t find many benches crowded with readers and I’m already denied access to the fucking bookstore, so that leaves coffee shops.

Here’s my plan. I’m going to print a sheet of requests, I’ll call it “The Author’s Requests” or some silly fucking thing, that states my wish that a person reads the book and then passes it along to another reader who will agree to do the same thing. Then they have to agree to place a comment—good or bad—on my website and they agree to say something on their own site, should they have one.

I’ll paste a copy of The Author’s Request on the blank inside cover page and I’ll tape a business card with all the contact info there as well. I’ll make rounds to coffee shops around town, buy a cup a Joe, ask the manager if it’s OK to give a book away in his store, and then I’ll find an unsuspecting but visibly suitable candidate as reader and request follower.

OK, wait. Maybe I should cut the “ask manager for permission” part out when I enter shops controlled by big corporations, like Starbucks. I can see the corporate rulebook for managers now. “Unyielding Starbucks Corporate Rule Number 793.2, Part B.: Never, and we mean NEVER, allow writers to use your store to market their wares. Most writers are poor and have loose personal boundaries, so they likely will not purchase a premium upgrade product, and they will accost your paying customers. Many writers also have poor personal hygiene and smell of onions and garlic. Onion and garlic odors do not combine well with the rich aroma of fine, free-will and perfectly-roasted coffee beans.”


But I don’t give a shit, I’m forging ahead. I’ve got waaaaay more things to tell you but I’ve got books to move.

Manana, y’all.


Print Friendly

10 Responses to “Mooner Takes On Barnes&Noble And Starbucks Too; A Writer’s Tale”

  1. mel says:

    Do it! And don’t ask the manager for permission because they will say no. Especially at Starbucks.

  2. Granny Ook says:

    Mooner, O-FU… I assume that you already started contacting independent book stores around Austin. (I am also assuming that there are a few of them left.) Indy owners and employees are usually dedicated book people, and would most likely not only stock your book, but help you market it. (And let you dust the shelves, if you wanna.)

    Ask at the library branches about local book groups.

    Ask at the local college/university bookstores (although you may have to bribe the U president to get your book stocked). (If there is a Catholic university in Austin, I would probably skip that one.)

    Good luck with your guerrilla marketing!

    (And good luck solving your technical problems with pictures- I really wanna see one of the “writer” with the Rorschach T-shirt.)

  3. Mel. Yeppers, that was a mistake. I have trouble with pocketing my Southern good manners even when it’s to my benefit. But I just got back and had huge success.

    Granny. I have been working that circuit and somewhat successfully. As for the local libraries, due to some prior incedents, I’ve been asked to abstain from actually walking through their doors. I’m still a-working on those pics.

  4. Granny Ook says:

    Moony- What on earth did you do to get banned from the library?

  5. bj says:

    I smell the umami of the beginnings of another book … David vs Goliath …. or David In The Lion’s Den

  6. YOU…ask for permission?!! Puh-leeze. Do you ask for permission to picket the crazy catholic anti abortion lady?! Remember: ‘Tis far easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission!

  7. admin says:

    Granny. I’ll retell that story sometime AFTER I finish negotiations to place Full Rising Mooner on those shelves.

    Beej. Or maybe the Sermon on the Mount. BTW. Can you smell umami or does something have a smell that gives you a case of the umami’s?

    Reck. Normally I agree with your logic. But I have found that getting barred from retail establishments dampens future marketing efforts in those same locales. Picketing, for me, is all about confrontation.

    Which reminds me. FUCK RICK PERRY!

  8. bj says:

    Naww …. Sermon On The Mount can’t have a sequel before the Rapture …. but …. David vs. Goliath happens all the time! Even Better!! ……. how about another Horatio Alger parallel? You, as a child, having to deliver newspapers to supplement the family income which is limited to egg and butter money …. WAIT A MINUTE!! ….. I read somewhere that YOU are “a wealthy redneck, liberal-thinking compost manufacturer from Austin, Texas.” You ain’t no one per center, are you? Where did I read that ….?
    And …. sorry about the umami thingy …. I don’t smell it now. BIRD was on my shoulder when I made that comment …. ask the Squirt if birds fart …. maybe that’s what it was …. thought it was the idea of your new book. Smelt pretty good too …. like nothing I never smelt before ……Yummylicious like …..
    In The Werds Of That Famous Texas A&M Cheerleader,
    “Adios Mo’Fos”

  9. squatlo says:

    Beej, I think your avian buddy burped for you… most bird’s gaseous diffusion from the other end is accompanied by runny shit. You’d have probably noticed that.

    Mooner, asking permission is the reasonable thing to do. Always do the reasonable thing. That being said, I don’t believe asking permission to market your book at Starbucks will be greeted with open arms and free coffee. They’re all about the Benjamins, so find a way to put dimes in their jar and you’ll have better success.

    We took a box of my matted prints to a local INDEPENDENT coffee shop that caters to artsy fartsy bohemian college student types and the manager there put it on her shelf, commission free. She said she wanted to promote the arts in the community, so having successful artists willing to offer their wares at her place was another selling point for her shop. Potters and jewelry makers began to leave displays, and we’d run by once a month to pick up our sales envelope (always bought coffee or lunch with it, actually). You never know, you might do better at a Starbucks Free place. Fuck six dollar coffee any damn way…

    Perry’s coming home. Lock up your women and sheep.

  10. admin says:

    Beej. I know nothing about birds save the fact that you and Squat like birds, and that Ms. Baby loves Bird. The Squirt says that birds do fart, but they are indistinguishable from their runny shits. After she answered me when I asked the question, she got a funny look to her face.

    “I’ve never asked you why you chose to name me Squirt, Bwanna Mooner. Now might be a good time to tell me.”

    Thanks, Beej.

    Squat. I just heard about Rick “The Prick” and I’m both elated and deflated. What am I going to talk about?

Leave a Reply