Travels with Bella

You may not have the budget to advertise abroad, but that shouldn’t stop you. Friends headed overseas provide a chance to get a photo with a familiar landmark, plus send a “message in a bottle.”

Ask your buds to take a book or two with your note pasted inside the front cover. Ours says:

Dear Friend,

By chance, you have happened on my “message in a bottle.”

It has made its way into your hands all the way from my home in Rockville, Maryland, a quiet town outside of Washington, D.C.

My message is simple. I have written a story called Bella, about a widow’s quest to learn the truth about her husband’s mysterious death, and her affair with a reporter she lures into the investigation.

There is a short, engaging video that tells more. Please watch it at:

Though we are an ocean apart, you can send me a message too. Use:

I very much appreciate your interest and feedback. If you like Bella, please tell your friends and help us spread the word.

After the photo, your friends should leave the book in some well-trafficked area, say a hotel lobby or busy cafe. This idea has produced interesting photos from Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, and now Peru. Bella, launched in late 2010, recently turned up in Machu Picchu, launched in 1450 at the height of the Inca Empire.  Many thanks to Noreen Raja for this outstanding photo.

9 Comments so far »

  1. Naomi said,

    Wrote on January 26, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

    Great idea. I’ve also tried putting my name/email in a book and passing it on to someone. They put their name/email in it, etc and when they’ve read it pass it on. At some stage the book gets back to the originator with all the names in it.


    stevepiacente Reply:

    Terrific, Naomi. We will add that to the messaging!


  2. Anna Y. White said,

    Wrote on January 28, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    I should say it’s an interesting approach to advertise


    stevepiacente Reply:

    Thanks, Anna, what would really be lovely is a shot of Bella in Budapest. Possible?


  3. carolyn barranca said,

    Wrote on April 13, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    Steve: I’ll be taking the book with me to Italy. We’re doing an automobile trip around Roma, Orvieto and Firenze and I will find the right spot to leave the book.


    stevepiacente Reply:

    Bella will enjoy this exotic trip, Carolyn. Thanks!!


  4. Bella: A Novel by Steve Piacente said,

    Wrote on April 16, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    […] 7 – Market overseas. Okay, that might be a stretch. Still, friends headed overseas provide you a chance to get a shot of your book beside a famous landmark, plus send a “message in a bottle.” That is, have your traveling friend leave the book at a busy café.  Inside the front cover will be your friendly note asking for a hand from whoever picks it up. Here’s more: […]

  5. Lisa McCombs said,

    Wrote on July 27, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

    I love the map idea and have posted it on my blog ( Market Overseas is awesome as well. My reading friends don’t go abroad often but I will try this as 50 states campaign for my YA novel Abby. Thanks!


    stevepiacente Reply:

    Hi Lisa, glad some of these ideas were useful. We’ve had a lot of fun with the overseas trips. The last photo showed Josh Dempsey doing a one-handed handstand. Guess what was in the other hand? Scroll down the Bella FB page to see, and while you’re there,
    please friend us!


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