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Dwayne Murray, Sr.

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Urban Book Vendors: Important Aspect of Book Marketing and Promotion
By Dwayne Murray, Sr.   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, October 02, 2006
Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2006

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One of the most important connections I made in my hard work at promoting my new book titled The Mouse That Roared is doing book signings with book vendors on the streets of New York City.

After completing my first novel The Mouse That Roared, I started to think about ways to market and promote my book. I am a self-published author; therefore much of my own publicity depended on me and my wife Angela, who I must say has been an intricate part of my Internet presence. My wife and I were brainstorming together when we decided to reach out to book vendors to see if I can sell books with them.

I first reached out to a book vendor named Pargo who sells books on 149th street and Third Avenue here in the Bronx. Not sure on how I would be received, I mustered up the guts to approach Pargo and ask if I can one day set up a table and host a book signing with him. Pargo was real cool about the venture and welcomed me with opened arms. We set up a book signing event the following weekend. We discussed payment; which in my opinion was fair and just, and we were in business

The day I was out there with Pargo on 149th & Third Ave., I was a bit apprehensive about approaching shoppers passing by. Eventually I said to myself "If you're going to promote your book, then get the molasses out my ass and get to hustling!" I started handing out my bookmarks and copies of my Chapter 18 excerpt and readers were soon at my table. Avid readers started purchasing autographed copies of The Mouse That Roared, while at the same time purchasing other titles from Pargo's table. By the end of day I had sold 27 copies with Pargo on 149th Street & Third Avenue.

After my first encounter of hosting a book signing with an urban book vendor, I decided to tap into the area that is well respected in the world of African American urban literature and book vendors...Harlem U.S.A.

I headed to Harlem New York to see if I can sell my book with some of the top-notch vendors on the streets. I met a vendor named Henry who is located right on 125th Street. Again being new to this game I was apprehensive about approaching him. Eventually I did and again I wasted too much concern over how I would be perceived. Henry told me to get my table and set up right next to him. I was excited about selling my book on the streets of Harlem. That day I sold 36 copies of The Mouse That Roared. I had readers stopping at my table, who purchased the book prior to who had nothing but great things to say about my book. It was a wonderful feeling to hear that readers honestly enjoyed my book. There was this one lady who provided free promotion for my book. She stood next to my table and was shouting out how good my book was and that people had to buy it. I tell you for the short time she was there she did manage to get folks at my table and purchase the book. I offered her a cup of coffee from the deli for getting shoppers hyped about my book. The lady simply said, "I said what I said about your book because it is really and excellent read, besides I don't drink coffee."

I also hooked up with a book vendor who happened to live right in my neighborhood. We met serendipitously through my youngest son's friend. Nelson is a book vendor who sells books in the Bruckner Mall here in the Bronx. Quickly after we met I did a book signing with him. I sold over 20 copies on my first day with Nelson.

I felt compelled to write this article about book vendors as I recognize their importance to marketing and promoting authors and their work. Book vendors have played a major role in helping me marketing and promotion my book. Book Vendors should also be recognized for their diligence and dedication in promoting African American/Urban literature. I truly believe my connection to book vendors has been one of the best moves I made in marketing and promoting The Mouse That Roared.

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Reviewed by Loretta Scott 1/12/2007
What a great insight to share with others. We all know how hard it can be to get your book promoted unless you do it yourself. Thanks for sharing, and many blessings to your upcoming books. "When there is dark at the end of the tunnel, know that daybreak will surely come."
Blessings always,