The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Personally, I Like Them as Door Stops

by Tricia Dower

We short story writers don’t get nearly the respect we deserve. We’re supposed to “grow up” into novel writing. Agents won’t consider us unless we come bearing novels or the name of Alice Munro. So I was interested in the responses on Diane Kidman’s site, carp(e) libris reviews, when she asked her readers to comment about their short story reading habits. Based on their answers, I think we “shorties” have been going about the promotion of our books all wrong. Rather than pushing our brilliant writing or the page-turning qualities of our prose, we should be highlighting the convenience and therapeutic value of our books. With that in mind, I herewith propose some new marketing hooks for a few collections I recommend. (The comments I lifted and twisted are here.)

Pasha Malla says: “Does your ADD kick in after only a few pages? Dude, I wrote The Withdrawal Method for you.”

“If the novel you’re working on just isn’t moving fast enough,” Charlotte Gill says, “reach for Ladykiller. My stories will slay you.”

Jim Tomlinson says: “Students! You can easily read Things Left, Things Kept Behind between classes without risking being late like you might with a novel.”

Jenn Farrell says: “You never know when you’ll have to wait at the doctor’s or for that blooming BC ferry. Sugar Bush is small enough to slip into your purse, your pocket or the glove compartment of your car.”

Xujun Eberlein says, “Stuck watching the kids run around the pool? Fight boredom with Apologies Forthcoming. If you get distracted by a little head going underwater, don’t worry. It won’t be too awful to go back and start over.”

“When your head is jumbled with other care,” Carol Windley says, “Home Schooling can be a godsend. Drink your fill in an evening on the pillows, and clear your mind for the next day. So refreshing!”

“Give me just 45 minutes a week, a month, heck even a year,” Jim Ruland says, “and I’ll take you into another world with Big Lonesome. A world of cheese and other random stuff. You won’t want to return.”

“More fun than a self-help book,” Caroline Adderson says of Pleased to Meet You. “Just one story a night will chill you out.”

Arjun Basu says, “Squishy is ten trips to the bathroom.”*

* Arjun really did say that.

Images: Basu's and Gill's really fun covers


Blogger Tania Hershman said...

Love it, Tricia! I think you may be onto something....

Fri Jul 18, 02:45:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Tania. You're going to be absorbed by promotion very soon when your book comes out.

Fri Jul 18, 06:39:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

I wonder if I can come up with something like that for The Space Between, in all its 197 pages of glory?

Sun Jul 20, 06:45:00 pm GMT-4  

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