How Can I Screw Up? Let Me Count the Ways…

Once again, I’ve demonstrated that if there’s a way to screw up a good idea, I’ll find it.

CAT SITTER AMONG THE PIGEONS, the sixth book in the Dixie Hemingway series, won’t be out until January, but I thought of a way to soften the disappointment that it won’t be available for holiday gift-giving. My idea was that people could pre-order from their favorite bookseller now, and I would send one of my special catnip bookmarks to the person the book was going to, along with a personal note saying the book would arrive in January.

In my happy imagination, the sender of the book got the satisfaction of painlessly giving a gift, and the recipient got a gift in two stages. First, one of my catnip bookmarks and a personal note from me, and later the book itself. I still think it’s a fun way of giving a book as a gift before it’s in the stores, but I totally screwed up when I shared the idea with readers.

First, I left the impression that I was selling the book myself. I don’t sell books, I just write them. To pre-order a book, you go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Borders or any independent store and order it the way you always buy a book. They will send it to the recipient when the book is officially released.

Evidently I also left the impression that I would personally deliver the ordered books. I don’t do that either. Pre-ordered books come the same way regularly ordered books do.

Furthermore, I didn’t stress that the addressed envelopes have to be long enough for an eight-inch bookmark to fit into without being folded. That means a legal sized envelope. AND the postage on it has to be sufficient to take an envelope from the US to Canada or Germany or Australia or wherever it’s going.

There’s no charge for the bookmark. That’s my gift to the reader. If the book you’ve pre-ordered is a gift to yourself, that’s perfectly OK. And you don’t have to send any kind of proof of purchase or photo of yourself holding your receipt or any other nonsense, I trust you. But please do include a note to me saying what relationship you have with the recipient so I can include that in my note. Like “Your pet sitter, Mary, has ordered this book for your birthday,” or “An early Christmas gift from your friend Gail! The book will arrive in January.” If there are cats who will be playing with the catnip, you can include their names too and I’ll mention them. If you’d like me to hold the note until mid-December or near somebody’s birthday or anniversary, I’ll be happy to do that. Just tell me in your note to me.

Send an ADDRESSED, STAMPED, BUSINESS SIZED envelope for each person for whom you’ve pre-ordered a gift book to Blaize Clement, P.O. Box 19324, Sarasota, FL 34231.

I promise never to mention this again!!!

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