Monday, August 08, 2005

Three Things

1. I don't like people with car bras.

My blood boiled today while waiting in an 190 degree garage mainly because I was delayed while the parking attendant guys peeled the bra off some dude's pristine SUV. Before you say, "Wait, aren't SUV's for rugged 4-wheeling mountain types?" Know this: he didn't even put the bra on or rip it off himself. Like all other car bra owners, he waited for the garage guys to do it for you -- the same guys you don't trust to not scratch your car? People who have car bras are bad in bed. I have no data to back this up, but I know it like I know my dog's name. Please, if you have ever hooked up with anyone who owns a car bra, write to me and let me know how bad it (most certainly) was.

2. Wall Street Journal is secretly hammering out some blogs.
Working titles: Wall Street Journal Insider, Fine Living, and some others about stocks and searches so boring I can not even type the names for fear I might pass into a coma. My title suggestion: Wall to Wall coverage. These blogs might be subscription (payola) only. No biggie. It's not like their readership will have to go without (a spare car bra or two) to afford it.

WSJ blogs. Selecting the news so you have more time to pick out leather bustiers for your vehicle..

3. An email from an author was forwarded to me --
The author is a friend of another author of a friend. You'll find it below. I wish this dude all the luck in the world. Honestly. Being an author is not easy and I happen to like the little I've seen of Found magazine. I am all for authors doing anything to get publicity. Pie eating contests for romance authors, Sci-fi authors streaking at football games, philosophers going on Robyn Byrd. Whatever it takes.

But man, does this email below prove authors need editors? Yes it does. That's why I'm posting it.

Though I'm calling him out for preemptive publishing desperation & excessive length, by pasting this, I'm actually spreading the word about his book, right? I'm spelling his name right. Why I'm a freelance marketing saint, I am.

I'll leave you with the author's email. Ta! Good luck! If I don't hear from y'all in a week, I'll figure you got lost and call the Coast Guard.

Bon fowarded email-reading voyage!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Davy Rothbart - FOUND Magazine
Date: Aug 6, 2005 4:18 PM
Subject: Please help me with the grassroots effort for The Lone Surfer!
To: [redacted]

Hi [Redacted]--

What's up? So, as you probably know, this week is a big week for me because
this week Simon & Schuster is putting out my book of short stories, "The Lone
Surfer of Montana, Kansas." I'm pretty excited -- it's always been my dream to
see my book on the shelf, so it's really cool to see that happen. But now I
want to ask you for your help getting people to read it!

I worked hard on these stories and I badly want to get them out into the world,
get them into people's hands. That's one reason I'm asking for your help -- I
want these stories to get read. Also, though, the success of this book will
hugely determine my chances of getting to publish any more books down the road.
It's weird, but the difference between selling 2,000 copies and 8,000 copies is
gigantic. If things go well, I'll have an opportunity to get more books on the
shelf. But if not many copies of this book sell, it's gonna be rough trying to
publish again. What's crazy is that success and failure is measured (for the
publishers) by just a few thousand copies. This means that every little
grassroots thing you can do makes an enormous difference. Simply by spreading
word about the book, you're giving me a huge boost and helping me to follow my

I'm gonna give a few suggestions for specific ways you can help, but before I
do, let me first off just thank you so much for reading this whole little
manifesto, and also let me say that I wouldn't be asking you to do this if I
didn't truly believe that the folks you know will like this book. I'm proud of
it, and I stand behind its quality. If I was selling garden tools or
encyclopedias, I wouldn't ask you to go to bat for me like this, but I'm asking
you to spread word about something that means a lot to me, and that I'm certain
people will enjoy and maybe even really love.

OK, I'll suggest 5 quick ways to help. 4 of them are free and require only a
bit of grassroots energy. I would be extremely grateful for you to follow
through on any one of these ideas, or any combination of 'em!

1) EMAIL EVERYONE YOU KNOW ABOUT THE BOOK. I really believe in the idea that
when someone hears about something from multiple sources, it moves them to
action. The Lone Surfer has already gotten some great press and reviews, and
more are coming, but I don't know that someone who reads about it in, say, the
L.A.Times or the Washington Post is gonna just run out and pick up a copy. But
if they also get an e-mail from you saying "hey everyone, my friend Davy has a
new book of stories out called The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas -- check it
out, it's awesome!" -- well, they might see what it's all about. So please
cast a wide net -- email everyone you know, or pick out specific folks who you
think might be the most into it. Simply emailing everyone you know, giving it
your own rousing endorsement, and urging folks to pick up the book is probably
the biggest (and easiest) way you can help. The book should be easily
available at every single bookstore in the U.S. and Canada, or at
Also, what I think of as perhaps its greatest assets (at least as far as
convincing people to check it out) -- it's cheap, it's a thin book (a quick
read), and it's a fun read. If you need more ammo for singing the book's
praises, I'm including some early press quotes at the end of this message, as
well as some nice things that Arthur Miller, Judy Blume, and Ira Glass said
about the book, and a quick description of the book.

2) BUY 3 COPIES OF THE BOOK. The book costs 12 bucks in a bookstore, about
$9.50 on For 30 bucks, you could buy 3 copies online. Keep one
and give a couple away as gifts! It makes for a pretty cheap gift that's still
kind of nice. If you're broke these days, no worries, skip this idea. But if
you're doing OK, please dig deep and buy 3 copies! Any bookstore should have
it, or click on this link and go right to The Lone Surfer page on

3) GIVE THE BOOK A POSITIVE REVIEW ON AMAZON.COM. You can go to that same page,
find where it says to 'Post A Review,' and in a couple minutes get your words up
for the world to see. It's strange how big a difference it makes, but other
random people who are considering buying the book will read what you write and
use that to make their decision. I think people trust the "man on the street"
more than anything. I guess I do, too. Anyway, please give the book a nice
review, I swear this really helps!

4) TALK THE BOOK UP TO PEOPLE. Friends, relatives, students, teachers,
bookstore employees, cute guys, cute girls, strangers on the bus. Nothing is
more powerful than word-of-mouth! And it's totally free, and you end up having
interesting, unexpected conversations with people you wouldn't otherwise.
Reading the book in public also helps! Or just carrying it with you with the
cover visible as you go through your day. I was gonna make this one a separate
idea, but I figured 5 was plenty. Anyway, yeah, just telling people about the
book and talking it up is huge. If you have a blog, or write a column for a
newspaper, or know someone who does, please, please mention the book. The more
word-of-mouth that gets pumping, the better!

September 19th to November 19th, me and my brother Peter are doing a 50-city
tour where we'll put on our rowdy reading/music show. I'll read Found notes
and a story from the Lone Surfer book and Peter will play songs based on Found
stuff. Folks seem to have a great time at these events, so if you can get your
friends to come check it out, they'll probably have a good time and thank you
for the heads-up, and they'll also likely be inspired to pick up The Lone
Surfer book at the show. Throughout the fall, I'll be emailing updates every
few weeks with the upcoming tour stops -- please look through the list of
cities and let your friends in those towns know that we're headed their way!
To see the entire 50-city tour schedule now, check out the Events page at

OK, so there ya have it. If you've made it this far, you deserve a medal
already! So yeah, if you're willing to try any of these grassroots efforts,
I'd be absolutely thrilled, and deeply appreciative. I really can't thank you
enough for helping me out in this way.

Below, in case it helps, is a quick description of the Lone Surfer book and a
few nice words from some cool newspapers and some cool people.

Thanks again for any grassroots help you can give, and let me know if you have
any questions about any of it!

Peace out for now-- and hope to talk to ya soon


In The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas, Davy Rothbart's stories grow out of road
trips and small towns and are populated by questionable heroes and gold-hearted
thugs. Full of loneliness and hope, heartbreak and humor, Rothbart's tales blaze
their way from midwestern farm fields to state prisons and border-town brothels.

Much like the lost, tossed, and forgotten items Rothbart collected in his
acclaimed book, FOUND, the stories in The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas
capture the oddity, poetry, and dignity of everyday life.

"Davy writes with his whole heart. These stories are crushing."
--Arthur Miller

"I believe in Davy. He's a force to be reckoned with."
--Ira Glass

"Funny, flashy... a great whirlwind..."
--The Los Angeles Times

"A storyteller mastering his craft. Rothbart writes with control, precision and
compassion." -- Kirkus Reviews

"It's always exciting to discover a talented new writer. Davy writes with such
energy, wit, and heart." --Judy Blume

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Davy Rothbart, FOUND Magzine
P.S. Page me later.
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