Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Publicity Terror Tale #6: The Librarian's Revenge

From an author who wishes to remain anonymous, for obvious reasons:

When my first book came out, my publisher's tiny publicity department arranged a series of talks at libraries and community centers around Southern California. Most of these events went very well, and I was particularly looking forward to the final talk, which was at the library in a community where I used to live.

I showed up about a half-hour early, and discovered, to my discomfort, that the librarian responsible for the author series was someone I had dated years ago, and the relationship did not end well. She spent the half-hour showing me photos of her husband and kids, and telling me how wonderful her life was, in an effort to demonstrate that she had done much, much better than me.

The time came for us to go to the room where I was to give my talk. I stacked my books neatly on a table, I arranged my notes on the lectern, I tested the sound system, and I waited for the audience to arrive. And waited. And waited.

Eventually it became clear that not one single person was going to come for my talk. My ex-girlfriend assured me that she had publicized my talk just as she publicized the other talks in the up-to-now successful series, but I can't help wondering whether she "forgot" one or two crucial steps.

Moral: A spurned librarian never forgets.

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