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

How to make sure a book has a shot at getting noticed
Promotional shot glasses for Kyle Minor's "Praying Drunk." (Sarabande Books)

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.

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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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