Books Jacket Copy

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

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.

ALSO:

The J.D. Salinger book-and-movie bonanza

Shanghai metro creates a subway-only library for commuters

Sexual assault allegations are filed against Amazon Publishing head

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

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • 'Salinger' gets the goods on an author's reclusive life
    'Salinger' gets the goods on an author's reclusive life

    When news emerged three years ago that filmmaker Shane Salerno and writer David Shields were working on a lengthy oral biography (with accompanying documentary) about J.D. Salinger, I assumed it would be all smoke and no fire. Salinger, after all, had gone to ground after the publication of his...

  • 97 years of typewriters
    97 years of typewriters

    For many decades, the typewriter was an indispensable tool for writers. It was faster than a pen and paper, more decisive than a pencil, more decipherable than a hasty scrawl. And, apart from its utility, it was a remarkable looking object, sometimes awkward, sometimes beautiful. Here's a...

  • In Eliot Pattison's moving 'Soul of the Fire,' a mystery in Tibet
    In Eliot Pattison's moving 'Soul of the Fire,' a mystery in Tibet

    Whether set in Southern Californian ethnic communities, Louisiana bayous or a blue-collar neighborhood in Boston, the more interesting mysteries take readers places they would otherwise never go. Foreign mysteries double down on the armchair adventure, mixing in exotic locales with...

  • Lindsay Hunter's 'Ugly Girls' plays it safe in the dark
    Lindsay Hunter's 'Ugly Girls' plays it safe in the dark

    If there was one book I looked forward to this year it was Lindsay Hunter's "Ugly Girls." For one thing, rarely has a title seemed more suited for a time period. Is American freakdom under threat or all the more in vogue when millennials come up with the term "normcore"? Something that could...

  • 'McGlue' casts a groggy sailor into a drunken murder tale
    'McGlue' casts a groggy sailor into a drunken murder tale

    When I was in the Navy, I knew a lot of drunken sailors: men who drank for the joy of being drunk, men who drank with the desperation of characters out of a Faulkner novel, and men who drank for a reprieve from the inflexible discipline that dogs those foolish enough to seek their fortune on...

  • 2014 in Review: David L. Ulin looks at the year in books
    2014 in Review: David L. Ulin looks at the year in books

    What was the upshot of my year in reading — the ideas, the through lines that most stirred or provoked me in 2014? The dominant thread was what we might call that of common experience, work that finds significance in incidental things.

Comments
Loading