Subway Book Marketing

Well, now I can add book promotion to the list of intrusions on the subway. Not that I mind anyone doing what can be done to circumvent the mainstream publishing industry’s often unfathomable choices in contract offers, but there are ways to approach and entice potential readers that don’t offend people or break laws. It is just jarring at any time to hear the “Good morning/afternoon/evening everyone” that is the preamble to the “touch” for money once the subway cars close and you’ve no good escape. Up until recently, the only return for your money if you were soft enough to believe the panhandler, was a dubious candy bar at best. That would set a sucker back maybe a buck. Now some guy wants me to shell out $10 with only moments to examine his book before he rambles on down the car. How obnoxious is that?

Today was classic. Not long after I got on the uptown A at Fulton St., a man started his schpiel about his two books of poetry. One of them sounded suspiciously like another book a man tried to sell on a different line last week. After he got off, a new guy, older and louder, started hawking his biography! He had the nerve to tell us that he needed us to help him keep writing! Wow, what happened to the days of keeping people fed or off the streets? Now I have to fund their art too?

Ingenuity is one thing, audacity is another. We all have to work to support our art. Competing with the homeless, truly jobless, and disenfranchised while also breaking the law and annoying quiet riders trying to get home or to work is really unforgivable.