Own a Piece of Book Promotion History!

Last year, book-publicist-turned-essayist Sloane Crosley left no promotional stone unturned to sell her book I Was Told There'd Be Cake, including constructing dioramas based on each essay. Now you can own one.

Riverhead, which published the book last year, has been displaying three of the dioramas in their offices. But now they'd like to have that space back. "As you can see from the picture, I can't exactly house them in Riverhead's offices forever," she says. "I also can't fit more than two in my apartment. Nor, honestly, would I want to. It's creepy enough that I even have the crafts supplies to make dioramas in my house.

So, she's selling the one — "the most intricate," she promises — that goes with the essay "Sign Language for Infidels" in an auction to benefit Housing Works.

Crosley's description:

Diorama For Sale, Never Used*

*Okay, slightly used. This is one of three dioramas constructed to coincide with the publication of I Was Told There'd Be Cake. Each diorama was meant to represent one of the essays and here we have the butterfly-abusive ASPCA violation that is "Sign Language for Infidels." The diorama was created with neurotic love over a series of late nights in my apartment, the scent of bourbon and Aleene's Tacky Glue (is there any other kind?) in the air. It was then filmed during equally late intervals at Penguin's offices, where similar emotions and scents were present but mingled with salsa and chips.

The diorama itself, sketched out here, now looks a whole lot better. For one thing, it's three dimensional. For another, it's Plexiglas. For another, it has clothing hangers made of paperclips and, come to think of it, is the last time I used a paperclip. In EBay language, I would keep it myself, but my apartment only has so much room. Joseph Cornell it ain't, but it does come with a cotton ball and felt rendering of a homeless guy. Finally, the auctioning off of this diorama for Housingworks (http://www.housingworks.org/ ) is a fitting end for a story that started years ago, with me attempting to be charitable and volunteer and failing miserably….

You can also watch a video documenting its creation or take a Flickr tour.