Thursday, May 13, 2010

Getting the word out - unfamiliar country

This is a strange land - having published my novel, I am trying to get it into bookshops. I have it in just a few shops at this point. There is a trinity of actions that are interconnected - getting the book into bookshops for the most part means getting a boook distributor to accept it, and to achieve either of these ends I have to publicise the book. Many bookshops won't deal with me; they insist on the distributor; and both of them generally want someone else to promote the book. But it's difficult, and even counter-productive, to promote the book when there is no outlet where people can buy it. A neat conundrum.
Nevertheless, here's a piece of publicity: I am speaking at an ethics conference in Sydney in June, as an author, talking about "The Ten Thousand Things". I see the book as an extended case study which shows how a person can work at being a good leader of an organisation (that is, competent and successful) while remaining committed to acting ethically. And in this case, the leader uses the I Ching for guidance about what is the correct thing to do in the situations with which he is faced.
So I will talk about the novel as a resource that can be used in tertiary education in business ethics courses. My only reservation about this is that I don't want to suggest that the story is gratuitous or contrived. It is a story, and as such it has tension, and things could go badly, and at many points in the story things do go badly. The book is not a cheap justification for acting ethically. Sometimes acting ethically creates enemies who would gladly kill you (and not always figuratively). People need to know this.
So the quest continues to find a book distributor, and enable my good story to make its way into bookshops and thus to readers in their homes and on buses and trains.
And the photo? It's the big Buddha at the Crystal Castle near Mullumbimby, northern New South Wales. They liked the book there, and have accepted it for sale in their bookshop. (Thanks!)

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