Suspend Your Disbelief

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Tomatoes, Basil… Books?

Boston author Jonathan Papernick has found a new market for selling his fiction: the farmer’s market. Reports the Boston Globe:

[W]orking as a character he calls Papernick the Book Peddler, the Brandeis University writer-in-residence fills a neon-painted shopping cart with copies of his newest work, a collection of short stories called “There Is No Other,’’ and walks through local farmers’ markets offering his wares. […]

“I call it market-fresh fiction for the people,’’ Papernick said. “I don’t need to rely on good reviews if I can show readers my book, talk to them about it, let them flip through it, sign a copy for them. It’s much easier to engage them personally than through a review or a display in a bookstore.’’

The first time Papernick showed up at the Waltham Farmers Market, he sold 13 copies “and bartered one,’’ he said.

According to Papernick’s website, the character of the “Book Peddler” has its roots in history:

Papernick came up with his alter-ego persona based on the great Yiddish writer, Mendele the Book Peddler. Papernick, a new immigrant himself (from Canada) recreates his story through the eyes of his European Jewish ancestors, complete with an updated fluorescent pushcart.

Okay, farmers’ market season is almost over up here in Boston—but this gets me thinking of other untapped places to sell fiction. Flea markets? Craft fairs? What’s the most unusual place you’ve seen a novel on sale?

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