Marc Halberstadt wants a wife. So he wrote a book-length advertisement for himself. Now he needs a publisher. Halberstadt, who prowled the floor of the American Booksellers Association convention Sunday, said his book will give women a chance to get to know him before they date.
"I'm trying to reduce the inevitable hurt feeling that results when you go out with someone who really doesn't want to be with you," he said.
Halberstadt wasn't the only writer with romance in mind at the convention, which ended Monday.
Take Paula Begoun. She is the author of four travel guides of "the best places to kiss." Romantic spots are rated on a scale of one to four kisses.
The Seattle author started writing the books when her sister came to visit and inquired about the Northwest's most romantic places. Her recommendations elicited mixed reviews, prompting Begoun, a former journalist, to begin the search in earnest. When the Northwest edition proved successful, she wrote guides for California and New York City.
Halberstadt, in contrast, has written just one book. On Sunday, he wandered through the Javits Convention Center wearing a placard with its title: What Do You Think of My Face?
"The book is a vehicle to find a wife," Halberstadt admitted. "But trying to find a wife before you find a publisher is putting the horse before the cart."
In the book, Halberstadt says he wants "to warn women what I'm like so they don't get shocked and scream when they meet me." It includes his theory of why women are superior to men as well as a note from his psychiatrist: "Your prognosis is not encouraging."
He conceded that a mainstream publisher might not be interested because the book would be useless to prospective buyers if Halberstadt found a wife. So he had the book published by a vanity press.
But he wants more.
"If you self-publish a book, it's like saying you were at a famous person's wedding without having received an invitation," he said.