• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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You’re Just Too Good To Be True



My hero P.T. Barnum

Guys, I have been promoting the fuck out of the The Bridge Ladies. Readings, playing Bridge at synagogues, sandwich boards, direct mailing, giveaways, Skyping, sacrifice of first born and writing articles. Like this one, ahem, published on Medium.com today, about my adventures in Reno at the ACBL (Bridge) National Championships where my mother and I and finished in the (spoiler alert) 31st percentile.

I’ll send a free signed copy for the best three marketing ideas you send in. More marketing! I can’t stop!





29 Responses

  1. Charm bracelet with the book and a card ~ eg Ace of Hearts

  2. Giveaways at readings and for general publicity: Create a custom deck of cards (or trading cards) with characters from the book.

  3. Free tickets to the movie screening.

  4. a partnership with Entenmann’s. which one of their cakes screams BRIDGE?


  5. Naked calendar.

  6. Connect with writing teachers/workshop leaders and have them to interview you for their podcast or what-have-you. Or, give a workshop on memoir writing thrill-chills+notrumps someplace like Omega Institute?

    Write notes to relevant university profs in lit and writing, nudging them to put it on their syllabi and sponsor more readings.

    When you’re interviewed (NPR, right?) offer a lottery for people who email you proof of purchase that week. First prize: you’ll read 5 pages of their manuscript? Second prize, sure, a deck of cards that you have personally shuffled in your rockstar fashion.

    There are 8 copies in the State of Maine library system–plus 7 people have it on hold currently. I’ll ask my local library to buy another copy.

  7. Yes, give classes in memoir writing! We all have much to learn from you. (THREE MEMOIRS!)

  8. Free books to all mothers whose daughter is named Betsy Lerner.

    And do a vlog with your mother in the car like James Corden and you two interview or judge other mothers and daughters.

  9. Do a Facebook Live video that goes more viral than that Chewbacca Mask mom, get invited to Jimmy Fallon, land a TV deal, a reality show: “real housewives of bridge club “meets “the apprentice” but for bridge – your tag line: “You’re on the board…broad” – w/in a few seasons, ramp up viewership to wild hysteria & roll out a social media campaign – hashtag “#LostTrick” to vote housewives off the table, all the while tweeting and snapchatting horribly offensive comments about how dumb rook & pinochle players are…the end of the show’s 4-season run culminating in your 2020 presidential bid on the platform to make bridge the national past-time. You’ll also need to fit a TED talk in there somewhere.

    It’s an extended, far-reaching marketing campaign w/ many moving parts built to cause disruption, but I really think it could gain traction with the right bandwidth.

  10. Book signing on the Brooklyn bridge.

  11. Facebook Live post of the bridge group playing a hand. Bridge is confounding and entrancing in its secret language that only a few seem to know. Start a millennials for bridge craze (and in that case use Snapchat and Instagram). Also, why are there are no bridge groups in Brooklyn of all places? Brewery and bridge events!

  12. Come,come,come, please please please to the Broken Sound Club at Boca Raton for a talk at the Women’s Club. Includes lunch with centerpieces, an overly cordial audience (a good thing, right?), a podium and microphone (should you need it), multi-tiered dessert table, and best of all, THEY’LL PAY!!! You can even play in the card room afterward — free snacks in canister displays with Good N Plenty and peanut M & M’s, etc. you can refill in paper cups. I’ll be your partner.
    And Betsy, then do the whole South Florida Country Club circuit! You’ll be fed for the whole snowbird season. (Seriously, contact me:)

  13. Do a short video of a montage of lots of different bridge ladies saying what bridge means to them. Some can be dressed up in fancy bridge lady get-ups. Start with someone reading your book. Put the open book in front of their face so at first the camera does a close up of your book cover, then as the book is lowered, we see a bridge lady who is amazed by the book. Ask her what does bridge mean to her, then show the montage of all the assorted ladies saying what bridge means to them. of course, they have to say emotional and entertaining things. This will need good editing, quick splices, and it should only last about one minute, tops. Put it in various online video places, including your blog and YouTube. Then end with your book cover and a working link for ordering the book online, for impulse buys and well thought out buys..

  14. Swag bags.

  15. Set up a bridge table next to the chess guys in Union Square

  16. send a copy to the person you want to portray you in the movie–cheryl strayed did that with wild. i think it worked out well for her.
    also, i just love you.

  17. When you go into a bookstore…and you’re book isn’t in the best seller section? (which to be sure it IS), move it there. 😉

    Okay, so that’s my own marketing plan, but…I’ll let you borrow it.

  18. DAMN IT. …and your book isn’t….(not you’re!!!) Sigh.

  19. So right now you are like the girl scout selling outside of the supermarket. It makes sense – people buy cookies there. But what about that girl scout that sold cookies outside of a pot dispensary (over 100 boxes in 2 hours).

    You need to find that place. It’s probably not at a synagogue or the JCC or where people play Bridge. Is it book clubs made up of female Boomers with mother issues (which is just about every female Boomer)? Is it women’s prisons? Psychiatrists’ offices? Pot dispensaries? As they say in marketing, know your audience. It’s probably the daughters.

    Send that book out to bloggers who recommend books for summer reading, books for the next potluck book club with a nice noodle kugel recipe enclosed, books for your best friend’s birthday, books for memoir lovers and wannabe writers. Get those bloggers on your side and word of mouth will travel.

    Or we could all go to Target and ask for it until they cave.

    Sorry, that’s all I got.

  20. somehow link it to Bridge of Spies

  21. Have the naked cowboy sell them in Times Square.

  22. Thank you for the article – it’s great to be presented with all these extras to your book, but even without them the book is super, both to read and to translate.

  23. Nursing Home Bingo Giveaway. They’ll tell their friends and daughters.

  24. the name “oprah” comes to mind. doesn’t she do something that helps promote the fuck out of books? rings a bell. can’t quite put my finger on it.

  25. I just read about The Bridge Ladies in last Sunday’s Style Section of the NYT — don’t know how I missed it!! Actually, my husband found the article and now he wants to read it (I, of course, got my copy on Pub Day). So, there’s that.

    People who write about give aways don’t understand the economics of book selling: for every piece of swag you give away, there goes the royalty from 10 books: that is just not viable.

    I’ve often wondered if getting in to a literary feud with a more famous author would be helpful. I’ve always wanted to call out Susan Branch.

    Warren Buffet is a famous bridge player — how about challenging him to a game? You and Roz v. Buffet and his bud, Bill Gates. Send the challenge via Gawker — I hear tell that it’s the Bible of Silicon Valley.

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