The East End Book Exchange is located at 4754 Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield (Little Italy) in Pittsburgh. I have a paperback book there that sells for $10.00. I use the book as a marketing tool to promote the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction. In the front of the book is my signature and a hand-written blurb encouraging readers to visit this site of erotic flash fiction along with the URL. You can download the ebook from this site. The ebook cost $3.99 if you have a Kindle and it’s a great example of “show don’t tell” flash fiction. Plus it chronicles my life in fictional form from the time I served in Vietnam to 9/11 here back in the United States. The stories are based on my thesis that won me my MFA from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006. The name of the book is Compressionism: The Pittsburgh Stories.
I’m constantly trying to think of ways to get people into the East End Book Exchange to buy the book. The East End Book Exchange is right across the avenue from Armand’s. So, I spend a lot of time on my favorite bar stool near the window in Armand’s sipping draft beer and looking at the East End Book Exchange.
What a publisher has to go through to promote his magazine.
I carry in my wallet a new business card. The card promotes the magazine and the bookstore (and of course my book). I’ve convinced several customers at Armand’s to buy the book, but sales are still sluggish. I think my best bet is to be more pro-active promoting the magazine and the book at Saturday night karaoke at Nico’s in Little Italy. I’ll have some cards in my wallet this Saturday night. But nobody likes to feel they’re being hustled. I’ve learned to be patient and selective.
You know, when I’m in my karaoke as performance art persona: clean-shaven, dressed all in black, turquoise love beads and a black bandana around my bald head. And if my Jim Morrison imitation is in the pocket, people do come up to me (mostly young women) in order to check out the cool old dude. And if they ask me what I do, that’s the time to casually lay the card on them.
This is the Old Soldier reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction, a blog about writing erotica and about The Doors.