Thursday, January 9, 2014
Barnes and Noble Readings (Yes! Plural!)
Backstory: A few weeks ago I swung by the local Barnes and Noble to see if they did local author readings. They technically stock my book, though just on Nook. If you ask for it in paperback in store (no I didn't...Angela did) they tell you it's order only and they'll send it to you. Makes sense, I can't imagine a giant chain trying to keep a bunch of self-published books in stock. Still, I'm doing everything I can to promote the book and I live by, "It never hurts to ask."* The dude I talked to said they do author nights sometimes and he took my contact info and promised to give it to the proper person. I never heard from that person and figured I got lost in the big business shuffle or they weren't interested and didn't sweat it.
Today, while I was teaching a very nice lady from Barnes and Noble left me a voice mail. She did have my contact information and was I willing to do some readings at the store. Not one reading, but TWO! Checking that voicemail made the end of the day go by quick and happy and I called her back as soon as I could.
Next week is Educator Appreciate Week and B&N is always good about teacher discounts and stuff that week. The Medford B&N hosts a Teacher Appreciation Event and she wanted to know if I'd be interested in basically being the entertainment. Come, read, do a Q&A, talk to teachers, try to sell the book. WHAT!? YES! Yes, I very much would! I'm in from 4:30 until I'm done. Event ends at 6:00.
And- AND- they are doing their Local Author Winter Readings Feb. 1st and would I be interested in participating in that? They give me an hour block and I do with it what I want. Of course I'm in. Noon to one.
Not only are these awesome chances to spread the Weird Teacher name and sell some books, they are also great chances to wake the B&N computers up to the book. Here's how sales for these events works- I bring in my own stock. Since the books are printed through createspace.com they are print on demand for B&N. That means non-refundable, which means if they order a bunch of books and don't sell them they are stuck with them. I understand. But when I sell a book at the reading it is sold through the B&N register. That means the computers see He's the Weird Teacher moving through their system, which means it lights up things which could eventually lead to carrying books in-store if it looks like the demand is there. And when I sell a book through B&N, createspace pays me for the sale and sends me a hard copy to replace the one I sold. So if I sell five book Tuesday, I get paid for five books, B&N sees that He's the Weird Teacher spike in sales, and I get five free books in the mail. Short version- That doesn't suck.
I'm crazy excited to be able to do this. I've got three readings booked now, these two and one at my alma mater, University of the Pacific, which I haven't written about yet but need to. I'm also working on getting another lined up at Bloomsbury in May.
Thank you for reading the blog and the book and telling your friends. It's been an unreal experience hearing from random corners of the internet and seeing messages and pictures pop up on the He's the Weird Teacher facebook page.
*Bonus example- I just sent the necessary paperwork to Heaven (aka Powell's Books in Portland) so that they'll consider stocking He's the Weird Teacher. They are an independent bookstore and do stuff like that. It might work. Couldn't hurt.