shock collar

invisible fence
might not be very humane
but will save money

No, I don’t want to get an invisible fence for the puppy. Or even for the kids. What I need is one that surrounds every local bookstore. Then, if I had some kind of receiver that’s connected to my wallet, I’d get one helluva jolt every time I tried to randomly show up at a bookstore and spend $150 on books I don’t have time to read.

Oh, but there are so many I want. And if I check them out from the library I just have to return them before I’m finished (or even before I start!). Whereas, when I BUY these books, I can gaze lovingly at them while they gaze lovingly back at me from my bookshelves. And their many-colored covers will be decorative! And the children will see how wonderful it is to grow up amongst stacks and stacks of books, even as the Internet tries to take over the world. (I know, I know, I’ve spent way too much time trying to justify going out and spending an assload on some new books.)

Last weekend, I went out to the bookstore, and much like all the other kids there, I was accompanied by my mother so that we could catch Rick Riordan giving a reading from his new middle grade book – The Titan’s Curse. Ostensibly, I said it was research, so that, you know, I could see how animated he was, and how clever and funny his stories were, and then I’d be able to store that somewhere in my brain and maybe use it one day if I ever get lucky enough to give a reading of my new book when it comes out many, many moons from now (Summer ’09 – doesn’t that seem like FOREVER?).

Really, though, I was just there to be another one of the kids – mesmerized by a fantastic writer. Before Mr. Riordan came out, I chatted with a girl about his books and how much she loves them. And she told me a little non-sequitor story about how lucky she is to never get hit in the head with balls during PE, and we had a grand time. It made me wish I had some kind of secret business card I could hand out that would give kids a website to go to to read and "test out" a couple of chapters from my book. These kids are such great readers, and they aren’t going to gloss over what they think. Plus, it could generate really cool underground buzz amongst my core audience.

It’s not something I could do now – there are just too many months until the release. Plus, I don’t know what my editor and publisher would think about something like that. As a former kid who was a ravenous reader, though, I can’t think of anything more exciting than being approached by a writer and asked to take a sneak peek at a new book coming out.

Anyway, just something to think about, I guess, while I’m sitting on my hands and hiding my keys so that I don’t run out and buy a million more new books.

Of course, if I actually spent more time writing books and less time farting around on the Internet I might actually sell another book or two and have a couple of more dollars to spend on books.

This is an interesting theory I’m going to look into. A soon as I’m finished blogging. And reading TWoP. And hiding my eyes while I scan Perez Hilton’s site. And listening to the Woot podcast. And checking my email.

2 thoughts on “shock collar

  1. I think that getting a little test-drive group of kids together to give you feedback would be a fantastic idea! You should definitely try to do that. Maybe contact a teacher in the area and ask if she’d do a few chapters as read-aloud for her class or something, and then you could come in and they could talk to you about it. I was still teaching when my book came out, and my kids were SO bummed that it wasn’t a kids’ book. They wanted so badly for me to read it to them. I auctioned off some of the names of the characters when our school did a fundraiser, and it was a huge draw. Kids love to feel special, and getting the inside track with a Real Life Author makes some of them pretty darn happy. You could do a drawing for free copies of the book when it comes out, or bring them all bookmarks with your book cover, or whatever. Sweet idea; run with it!


  2. I need that invisible fence! It’s great to read someone else’s rationalizations for why they buy books. If we shared all our thoughts maybe we could justify even more.


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