Last night, Dennis Johnson, publisher of Melville House, got to read an amazing piece of feedback for one of his recently published books from a librarian in Minneapolis, MN. The book, Every Man Dies Alone has already received rave reviews in the newsmedia, but there’s something to be said for this personal, from-the-heart feedback from Jon, a Readers Advisory man by trade. Here’s an excerpt from the letter Dennis received. (The background you might need is that Melville is starting a cool little “postcard” marketing campaign for the book, echoing the characters’ own clandestine publicity efforts in the novel.)
I sat down and read Every Man Dies Alone shortly after it first appeared on the book scene, and within the first hundred pages I knew I had something outstanding. Since finishing the book it very comfortably ranks as one of my all time favorites, and as a book I would unhesitatingly recommend to anyone. Being a librarian by trade, I immediately recognized the accessible nature of the book, and I’ve added this title to the top of my “Books for Non-readers” list–a truly high compliment considering the inherent gamble in putting your faith in one book to transform a non-reader into a reader.
So, I’m navigating toward my point, I swear. I recently read on your blog about the genius idea to market Every Man Dies Alone with postcards, which could then be left anywhere/everywhere. I would love to get my hands on a stack of these postcards, and I could engage in quite a campaign of postcard dropping here in Minneapolis , MN . Metro-transit, coffee shops, libraries, community bulletin-boards, and any random windowsill or stairwell I can manage to find.
Oh, and before I forget, I should like to give a little shout out to Micawber’s Books in Saint Paul for turning me onto Every Man in the first place. What a great independent bookshop.
Anyway, if it would be possible to obtain a stack of postcards, or any posters, bulletins, or other materials you could spare, I’d love to contribute with a citizen’s campaign of my own.
If this won’t work out I understand, and I’ll just have to keep marketing by word-of-mouth. You all do great work, and I’m happy to know of you and your books.
Your friend in Minneapolis ,