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How to make sure a book has a shot at getting noticed

BookFiction

An order of one book, neat.

Located in Louisville, Ky., independent publisher Sarabande Books may have to work a little harder than its New York brethren to get its books noticed. Enter creative marketing ideas like this one for Kyle Minor's upcoming book.

To help give "Praying Drunk" a shot, the publisher has printed up shot glasses that read "Praying Drunk - stories - Kyle Minor - Sarabande Books." On its Facebook page, Sarabande Books asked, "How much do you want one of these shot glasses?"

So far, responses are universally positive, although writer David James Keaton -- full disclosure, we attended grad school together -- warns, "I guarantee it will be used responsibly! i may read drunk though." Knowing Dave, he might well follow through on that threat.

Minor's work has been widely published -- in "Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013," The Southern Review, "Best American Mystery Stories 2008," "Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers," and Forty Stories: New Voices from Harper Perennial" -- and he's received a number of prizes and accolades. But it's hard for someone who writes mostly short fiction to break through -- perhaps "Praying Drunk," his second collection, will reach a wider audience.

A liquor-oriented promotion like this works only because it fits so well with the title. A book called, say, "Praying Sober" would need different swag entirely.

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Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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