I hate spending time with vanity press authors. They are, hands down, the most tragic figures that cross the threshold of our store.
These books of theirs; these sad sad little books.
So yesterday, I met maybe the saddest vanity press author yet. She came into our store with her walker, a sample copy of her book, and a handful of returned promotional letters. She laid her book down on the counter and began her pitch, which I had to interrupt to inform her that we didn't carry consignments or new books.
Her book had a wretched title, a wretched cover, and a wretched premise. I want to share all the details, but I worry that maybe she'll stumble on this blog someday and I'll have made her cry.
At one point, while she was telling me her long sad story of trying to market and sell her book, of which there were 850 copies in her car, I looked up and realized with horror that she was wearing a promotional track suit. On one side of the zippered jacket was the cover of her book and on the other side, the title. Sigh.
I can't stop thinking about her. A carful of impossible-to-sell crap that she poured her heart and her last penny into. A long, fruitless, last-ditch-effort road trip across three states when gas prices are at $3.00/gallon. Her beret, her returned letters, her dumb track suit, and the fact that when it's all said and done, she probably still won't understand why no one wanted the book.