I was twitting Patricia Wood over on her blog a while back, informing her that she was not allowed to die because she had not yet signed my copy of Lottery. No, I cannot remember the context for that particular piece of idiocy and I can't find it either. And yes, you should go buy her book, not just because she's a webfriend of mine, but because it's a fine piece of writing. Don't take my word for it; it was short-listed for the Orange Prize.
Anyway, back to the point. She immediately rectified that terrible oversight by offering to send me a bookplate. (For the uninitiated, a bookplate is basically an autographed sticker you can put in your book to instantly turn it into an autographed copy.) Through a series of confusions on my end, it took me a while to get it, but I finally got my hands on it yesterday. Except it was a them. She sent me one personalized bookplate and several others with generic greetings.
What is a girl supposed to do with extra bookplates? As it happened, I was in a bookstore that afternoon, and what should I spy but a stack of her books on a table of bestsellers near the door? (See, I told you it was good.) My natural brilliance asserted itself, and I said to myself, "There's a good place for those extra bookplates." The manager was equally struck by my brilliance. Okay, I'm assuming. He said that the bookplates would be welcome, or words to that effect.
Very pleased with myself, I emailed Pat to tell her of my brilliance. She was very impressed. Okay, so she told me that's why she sent them along. So she was brilliant before me. I am still brilliant, right? (Somehow this story isn't going quite the way I meant it to.)
Anyway, I am impressed with her brilliance too. She didn't ask me to do anything, but let me think of it on my own. Now those books will sell more quickly because most people are very pleased to get a signed copy of a book. And I have stowed away another gentle marketing technique for the future. And I have an autographed copy of Lottery. Thanks, Pat.
By the way, there is still no Wikipedia entry for Patricia. Any Wikipedians around who can do something about that?
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