Saturday, February 1, 2014

Barnes and Noble Events

As you know, I've had two events recently at my local Barnes and Noble. Both went better than I expected, but that's because I'm kind of pessimistic about my ability to pull any kind of a crowd with just my name. Advertising is also scarce. I do what I can and spread the word through the venues I have, but a lot of it is hoping people who are interested happen to walk into the store at the right time.

Ok, so that's not entirely true. The first reading was during Barnes and Noble's Teacher Appreciation Week event, so my audience came to me. Like those of you who've read the book know, it's not just for teachers, but it does come off that way initially. The crowd for my Teacher Appreciation reading was mostly educators. Two or three were homeschool moms, and there was a little people teacher and an administrator from the Medford School district, which is the district right next door to mine. They weren't the only ones there, but they were the ones I talked to. Others drifted in and out as I read. Most who came late stayed, which is nice.

They were a great audience. I opened with the Peanut Butter and Jelly chapter, since that went over so well at my Bloomsbury reading. I also read the Bodily Functions chapter, which didn't go over fantastic last time but this audience had a few kids in it and they helped sell the grosser funny parts. Since I had the time and no one was asking questions, I thought the Distractions chapter who be a good one to read. That works better when the audience is teachers, since they can relate to the more classroom-centric chapters. And to close it out I read Sympathy for the Weird Kid. If there's one chapter that feels like a thesis statement for the entire book, that's it. It's about empathy and compassion and seeing everyone for who they are. It's an important one for me to read. Both readings, it's gotten a lot of quiet nods. Everyone is the weird kid to someone.

I was told that today's event was also going to be a reading. My contact lady told me I would be able to read or give a talk or whatever. When I got there Contact Lady wasn't working but Manager Lady was. Manager lady explained to me that, no, it was not a reading thing. It was a sit by the door with your books out and say Hi to customers and sign copies thing. Oh. Well, darn. That's way less fun. Oh well, I still get to have my book out in Barnes and Noble during the weekend, right by the door. I still get to sell the book I wrote and self published in a real brick and mortar book store. That's a cool thing and nothing to complain about.

I met a couple of very nice people, sold and signed four books, and had a nice hour. Sold two to one lady. She initially only wanted one, she was going to send it to someone she knows who is a teacher, but then she came back about five minutes later to get a copy for herself. She also works at the nearby Southern Oregon University, and she asked for my contact info. She wanted to share it with the dean of the education department. Said she thought I would be a great speaker for their students. I haven't mentioned it yet on the blog, but this is the third or fourth contact I've had with SOU people. Hopefully someone will come of it. I'd love to do a talk at the University. The other books were sold to a girl at the very beginning of her teacher education program and a guy who's wife is a kindergarten teacher.

I LOVE being able to sell the book. It is still pretty incredible that someone would buy something I wrote. Like, in a book store. Just walking through. Pick it up, read the back, and spend real American dollars on it. I give a ton of credit to Dorothy Dean's wonderful cover.

Next planned reading is at my alma mater, the University of the Pacific. I'll be speaking to a group of student teachers. Really excited about that.

Like always, thank you for reading. And if you've read the book but haven't written a review yet please head over to amazon, Barnes and Noble, Good Reads and/or iTunes and let everyone know what you thought.

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