I was at the LAT Book Festival this weekend and witnessed some real doozies. I was hard pressed to pick a winner for the funniest BPS moment but I think it's a tie between the lady who had her nine year old kid wearing a sandwich board of her book cover and the genius who put up a pocket file full of "free poetry" on the back of the door to one of the stalls in the ladies room.

The sandwich board idea was obviously a flop, since I remember the unsure look on the little girl's face and the mom leaning in and telling her "It's working, see, people are noticing you!" but I couldn't recall the name of the author or the book with a gun to my head. On the other hand, the pocket folder of free poetry was empty, so clearly somebody took it. Maybe the stall ran out of toilet paper.

Apologies to either of those two ambitious individuals if they are reading this, but honestly kids, that's really a bit much.

What was the silliest, most over-the-top promotional trick you've ever witnessed. Book covers painted on elephants? Tattooed on bellydancers? Custom condom wrappers? (Hey, wait a minute... MONEY SHOT condoms. Hmmm........)

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Christa,

It was super to see you over the weekend and I can't wait for money shot to hit the shelves. Ew, that doesn't sound good, but you catch my drift...

The silliest promo act I saw was a writer who hired a sky writer to dust the sky with the book's title. Bold, yes. Long lasting, no. The smoke dispersed after a couple of minutes...

Simon
Yeah, I can skywriting not working well. Thirty seconds and it comes out "Yb3 3pasfhers Karamazov"
I talked to an author who custom printed her book info on condoms.

They were wrapped in camo color and called Stealth condoms with a slogan "They never see you coming". Actually, I added that last part. She loved it so much, she may be using by now. (rolls eyes)
Or as I would title it---"Drowning in a Sea of Love"
OK. I thought I was kidding about the condoms but...

http://www.absorbentprinting.com/health-and-beauty/condoms-etc/?sou...

Wow! I love the little custom lube packets even more. Those would be so helpful for critics who didn't like the book and might need some help when you tell them where they can stick it.
Oh, that's beautiful. Screw bookmarks and coasters. Those are actually useful. Do they do ballgags, too?
LOL Tears are rolling down my eyes, just reading this. God, this is a fun place to hang out.
This thread takes me back to the late 1960's in NYC when I attended a huge performance art event by Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and others, and they gave out inflated condoms. I thought they were just balloons, and couldn't understand why everyone was giving me such weird and amused looks later when I boarded a bus with mine. It wasn't that I was all that innocent - it was just that those years were the heyday of the pill and free love, pre-AIDS and herpes. A good time to be young! Sex must be a lot scarier these days (BTW, my husband and I are celebrating our 32nd anniversary today!)
But remember, the condom can still double as a bookmark--but maybe more applicalbe to hardback sales... :-)
We can only hope...with LARGE PRINT
Note to self: Come up with new marketing plan. Obviously someone has hacked my computer and stolen my best sandwichboard ideas. Also note to self: let neighborhood kid out of basement. won't be needing him to hawk my book. So far no one has copied the "free puppy with every sale" gimmick. Must get more puppies.
Puppies are SO last year. Tell your readers that a percentage of your proceeds are going to American Idol Gives Back. That'll hook 'em. And if that doesn't work, throw in a ballgag. I hear Blackmoore has plenty left from his last promo.

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