That one one-book store

Josh Spilker

Proprietor & author Andrew Kessler / NY Times

Yeah, that one. You know the one.

Just found out the bookstore that is only selling one book.

Ed’s Martian Book on Hudson St only sells Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission according to this NY Times piece.

The author and proprietor, Andrew Kessler, is in advertising and is doing his damnest for his own book.

And this is an attention getter, that warranted a note in the Times despite its seemingly drab subject matter. I haven’t read it, but this does seem like a better investment from the publisher Pegasus, then a typical bookstore tour to random Barnes and Noble’s across this great country of ours, or having an inbox filled with cancellations from Borders.

According to the article, he’s sold a few hundred copies which will keep the light on for a month. Still a few hundred copies, not bad. And then he will be on his way.

But is this just straight-up vanity press? How is this any different than a self-published author trying to hawk themselves? I would say it's even lower, right, to think your book is so great to fill up a retail space on its own merit. If Kessler had done this in his basement, no attention would be given to him, only looks of pity. As someone has said, it's all about location, location, location. Or perception, perception, perception.

Maybe his pretty displays and signs will end up in a garage or basement, with loads of his unsold copies.

The singular focus is impressive, I’ll give him that. But I won't give him any money.

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