Jonathan Papernick: A modern-day book peddler

I’ve never seen an author market their books with as much verve and passion as Jonathan Papernick. He’s really out there selling his work – literally.

According to The Milford Daily News, Papernick has begun hitting the streets and selling books from a green fluorescent pushcart. The author appeared at a Waltham, Mass., farmer’s market on Saturday accompanied by a clarinet player, Dimitri Zisl Slepovitch, who helped draw customers to the cart with some lively tunes.

Here’s a clip of what it was like on Saturday.

This is not the first time I’ve seen Papernick come up with a creative way to get his books into readers’ hands. Some of you may recall that a few years back he wrote an essay for about his ‘1,001 Books Project.’ It was something of a cautionary tale for would-be authors, letting them know that writing a book is the easy part: getting it noticed takes real work.

As I’ve said before, you gotta give Jonathan Papernick credit. In an era when I see more and more authors relying on little more than social media to do their marketing, he has shown that going old school as Papernick the Book Peddler can also help attract attention from readers.

According to his website, Papernick will be visiting farmer’s markets throughout New England and New York from now until October 2 “to promote his short stories and reintroduce the age-old art of hand-selling books.” The tour will finish with a parade from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side of Manhattan where Papernick will have a reading.

I feel obliged to note that Papernick has more going for him than just a few marketing gimmicks.

He received critical acclaim for a 2002 short story collection called The Ascent of Eli Israel. He later wrote a novel, Who by Fire, Who by Blood, which he has described as “equal parts terrorist thriller, love story, and psychological portrait set in pre-9/11 New York, a novel entirely free of comfortable Jewish kitsch, high-concept cleverness, and redemption.”

His latest book, There Is No Other: Stories of Faith, Love and Heartache, is a short story collection that’s been called a pursuit of “the conflicted inner turmoil of Jews caught in a modern maelstrom.”

If you can’t make it to the farmer’s market, you can always pick up a copy on Papernick’s Amazon page.

From The Jewish Literary Review

The original article (and all its links) may be found here.


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