This Thanksgiving I want to send a shout out to the one guy in a city of 13 million who was willing to give me a shot.
If writing a book is like climbing a mountain, then marketing one is like taking on Everest. Marketing one in a country where hardly anyone speaks or reads your language is like taking on Everest with no oxygen. And no clothes. Hungover.
The goal was to convince one of the bigger booksellers in Tokyo to let me hold a book signing in one of their stores. So I started calling around.
“Sorry, we don’t do that kind of thing,” said the first person I spoke to once they’d deciphered my Japanese. “We don’t have many foreign customers,” said another. Someone from one of Japan’s largest and best-known chains told me to call back once I was famous – assuring that I wouldn’t.
I put down the phone. This shit was going nowhere.