So unlike 99.99999% of American authors, I pass out postcards for my books.


In the days before my Mets book came out in 2004, I combed the Shea Stadium parking lot, dodging security while placing a card (featuring the book cover on one side, information on the other) on every car windshield and in every passing hand. With the Bonds book two years later, I flew out to San Francisco and did the exact same thing.

Now, in 2008, I’m having second thoughts. I recently received 2,000 cards from HarperCollins for Boys Will Be Boys, and I’m debating whether to comb the Texas Stadium parking lots myself, or pay some kids $100 a pop to do so.

On the one hand, I enjoy the work, and—as my parents stressed throughout my youth—I believe in doing every possible job for myself. That’s why I rarely farm out research (well, also because I’m too cheap).

Yet on the other hand, what says “Pathetic” more than an author handing out his own cards in a parking lot? I’ve worked hard to try and establish myself as a writer worth reading (I’m not saying I’m reached that point—but I’m trying), so do the cards ooze desperation? I’ve often told myself, “Don’t let anyone know you’re the author,” but I’ve got a big mouth. It inevitably comes out.

Anyhow, would love to hear from you. Handing out the cards—good idea? Or bad idea?

4 thoughts on “Leaflets”

  1. Hate to do this again, because you know better, but the hard work you do is paying off. Some might say it’s a bad idea, but writers who make a personal interaction with their target audience, even if it’s just handing a hard, turn people from simply fans to evangelists to your person. But what people can’t say is that you didn’t give it your all for your book. Do it while you still can.

  2. Instead of people coming to see you at a bookstore – you go to the stadium. It’s a great idea and gets people to know you.

  3. On one hand I think its a cool idea on the other hand I think it would be better if you hired John Rocker to do it. Or maybe since you’re going to do it at Texas Stadium, Nate Newton. Damn I miss #61.

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