Lidia Yuknavitch’s new debut novel, Dora: A Headcase, is a reinterpretation of a famous Sigmund Freud case of the same name. And the launch of the book itself is arguably a case study in alternative book marketing. Yuknavich’s friends and fellow authors Chuck Palahniuk and Chelsea Cain say they wanted to do something really memorable for Lidia’s new book. So, they came up with a kind of exclusive pajama party they’re calling “Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups” at a small independent bookstore in Portland. The 100 tickets sold out almost immediately. The authors are quick to add, this is NOT an overnight affair. But there are stunts and gimmicks: PJ attire is encouraged and the first 50 people get a stuffed animal from Chuck Palahniuk.
Cain says the point was not only to help Yuknavitch launch her book but to help reinvigorate small, independent bookstores — before they disappear altogether.
Palahniuk says the trio may repeat the event depending on how it goes. He and Lidia are appearing together in October for a similar event at Eugene’s Wow Hall.
What does or doesn’t appeal to you about this kind of alternative book launch? How often to you visit brick and mortar bookstores? How do you think authors or booksellers should adapt to the changing marketplace for books?
- Chuck Palahniuk: Author of Damned, Fight Club and other books
- Chelsea Cain: Author of the “Gretchen Lowell” series of thrillers and other books
- Lidia Yuknavitch: Author of Dora: A Headcase and The Chronology of Water