Monday, September 03, 2007

Recycling Gone Amiss

Last night my family was enjoying a leisurely dinner when the doorbell rang. I got up to answer it and discovered my neighbor from across our cul de sac. Without any formalities, she shoved two papers toward me and demanded, "WHAT did he say?"

Umm . . . excuse me?

To figure out what in the world she was talking about, I took the papers and looked at them. On one side were drawings my daughters had scribbled. The other side revealed manuscript pages from Spires, pages 150 and 154, to be precise. At least, of that draft. Comments in red ink were in the margins, courtesy a member of my critique group.

See, after I use one side of paper (and I use a lot), it goes into a stack, where I'll print on the back of it (saving money, saving trees . . .). My kids know that they need to use this scratch paper stack first, so they freely doodle, draw, and otherwise use up that same pile.

And then those pages often end up in the recycling bin.

From there two pages must have floated across the street with the wind and landed in my neighbor's front yard.

Now here she was, demanding to know what happened between pages 150 and 154. What did Ben say, and why is Hannah wet? And what happens next?

"Ben didn't say anything," I told her. "He and Bethany were interrupted by Hannah."

I could have told her what he was about to say . . . but didn't.

"You got me hooked," she said with a sigh. "I guess I'll just have to go buy it and read it."

I told her it should be hitting stores any day now, but that she could download the first 28 pages from my website while she waits. That didn't quite satisfy her. After all, page 28 wouldn't answer her question about pages 150 and 154.

It was so much fun to see someone hooked on two pages of my book, pulled out of context, someone who now wants to buy it.

Hey . . . maybe I should toss manuscript pages in random areas all over town . . .


Jenna said...

That's AWESOME! That must mean you're a really great storyteller! Good work! I can't wait to read it too!

Heather Moore said...

This is actually an excellent idea!!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I bet the publishers haven't heard of that kind of marketing plan yet :)

Julie Wright said...

Annette, this clearly defines how much you rock!! I am just laughing here! Thank you for sharing this.

Unknown said...

How fun is that? That's one that has to be shared in an interview, remember that story.

And like the others, I think this is a great idea.

I dropped by because I'm back again with a really fun idea:

I'll admit it, I ripped this idea off the JustaBeachKat blog. But every woman blogger in my area of the country, within driving distance, let's get together for lunch? How fun would that be . . . it will be the first meeting of the Utah Chapter of BEAUTIFUL BABBLING BOISTEROUS BLOGGING BABES. Email me at and let's pick a day for our first meeting!

Pezlady Jana said...

Well I have to admit that I would LOVE it if you would bring your manuscripts to my neighborhood and throw them around! I am getting tired of reading Parenting and the Ensign. Maybe I shouldn't have said the need another good book to read and I have already read all of yours! Can't wait for the new one! My fav of yours so far is House on the Hill. I loved it!!

Anonymous said...

What a great story. Congratulations on your accidental guerilla (sp?) marketing campaign.

Josi said...

This is brilliant. I think I'm going to print out my latest book and drive around with the top off, just let the pages find homes :-)

Luisa Perkins said...

That is fantastic! And I love Josi's idea.

Anna Maria Junus said...

I'll make a note of this marketing scheme.

1. Contact book stores.
2. Add information on my website.
3. Drive around town littering pages from my manuscipt (note make sure my name is on these pages).

Amber said...

That's impressive. Now I'm in awe. I didn't realize I was talking to a Real Published Author. I'm going to have to worship the ground you walk on. Well- or read some of the stuff you've written. That'd probably be better.


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