Duncan Lay is a recent arrival on the fantasy scene here in Australia. I read his book, Wounded Guardian, back in April and I'm hoping to get to the second one, Risen Queen, as soon as I can.
Even before I read his book, I've been watching Duncan's exploits with great interest. For nearly a year he's been setting himself up in bookstores around the country, chatting to customers and hand-selling his books. I have absolutely no idea how many sales he's made this way, but from what I hear it's been extremely successful. So much so that he's taking all of July off work in order to travel around the country with a goal of hand-selling 1000 books. Here's a video he posted on Youtube to talk about what he's calling "Big July" (and big it will be, too).
We hear a lot about authors marketing themselves - through Facebook, blogs, Twitter and so on. But this is taking it to a whole new level. Sure, author visits and signings happen all the time, but not a consistent and long-term campaign of hand-sales.
And what an amazing idea it is. Not only is this guy getting out and putting his book literally into the hands of the buying public, he's also meeting the people who work in the stores, the ones who do the selling. The next time someone asks them to recommend a new fantasy, whose book do you think will come to mind first?
Could this be the future for new authors? Perhaps I need to take that long-overdue look at my wardrobe, after all.