Self published authors will do just about anything to sell their books. But Christopher Herz quit his advertising job to walk the streets of Manhattan literally selling copies of his first novel, The Last Block in Harlem.

Herz printed about 1,100 copies which he and his wife carried up to their fourth-story walkup in what Herz describes as the last neighborhood in Harlem untouched by gentrification. Since its June 15 pub date, Herz has sold about 300 copies both on the street and through his Web site, Every day he takes 10 copies out to the streets and does not come home until he sells all of them. He has accomplished his goal in as little as an hour and as much as 10 hours. The paperback edition of The Last Block in Harlem is $10.

But Herz did not start Canal Publishing because he wants to be a self-publisher. He hopes to publish other authors as well and says he is modeling his company on Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights and Jay-Z’s rise in Hip Hop. “It’s very branded and very grass roots,” said Herz. Before Jay-Z could get airtime he sold his music on the streets from his car trunk.

As for Herz’s M.O. on the streets, he scopes out his targets and then says, “Can I have 30 seconds to present my novel to you?” Women are more receptive than men, generally, he said. Although men with families are pretty open to him. He has sold his book to everyone from Brooks Brothers-wearing professionals in midtown to drunken young people in Central Park at 3 a.m. And he has learned a thing or two about whom to target. He looks for people who are reading and couples having a good time. “People with the nicest outfits and nicest bags and nicest sunglasses don’t buy,” he said.

“I’m offering a direct experience with the author,” said Herz. He attributed some of his success with being passionate about his product and the fact that the book—which he wrote everyday from 5-7 a.m. before his day job—as a “love letter to my neighborhood." Herz, a Los Angeles native, said he cannot think of any other city aside from New York where this hand-to-hand selling could work. “You’re asking the city to give you something back,” said Herz, “and I think New York is like that.”

Several bookstores have taken Harlem on consignment, but Herz says he has had no sales through this traditional channel yet. “I love what I’m doing and I love my book,” Herz said, which he thinks translates into sales one person at a time.