Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A noble literary experiment gone horribly wrong...

Okay, maybe it wasn't all that noble or literary, but it did go wrong.

A book reading at an RV Show. Turns out that it's not such a hot idea. It seemed like a natural, given that a recreational vehicle plays prominently in THE LEISURE SEEKER. "Why not?" I thought. " I could expose the book to a whole different audience who might truly enjoy it." Nope. Not so much. Turned out they didn't want to be exposed to my book. Or me.

My first reading at 2 p.m. was attended by about 12 people, which really wasn't that bad. I've had worse. (E.g., Austin: 4 people, which included one homeless guy who was just there to get out of the blistering sun.) Sometimes I'm happy to get into double digits, but 12 people don't seem like much when there are about 100 empty seats surrounding those loyal few. Oh, and did I mention that the stage was right next to the bouncy tent? (You know, for kids!) Not the optimal placement for a intimate literary event. But the telling moment was the 5 p.m. reading which was attended one. Cue the cricket sounds. Yes. Zero attendees. Just as well. I was ready to leave by that time anyway. I was suffering from sensory overload. Too many people, too many RVs, too much ambient noise, too much bouncy tent. I'm a highly sensitive person, you know.

But those folks that were at the first reading were great and really seemed to enjoy it. Met Craig Hill, one of my Facebook pals. And Emily from Schuler Books did sell a fair amount of books. And I signed a lot of the new trade paperbacks which are now being sold before the official street-date at Schuler Bookstores around the state. And the publicity for the event was very good. Radio, newspaper, website, tweets, the whole shebang. Which is very helpful for a book coming out. Big thanks to the people behind the scenes. (I mean you, Derek.)

Anyway, one has to try these things. Besides, I was also able to go to the Hop Cat, one of my favorite new beer bars in Michigan with my good friend Dave. Which made it worth it right there. Still, I think I'm going to stick to readings at libraries and bookstores and colleges for the moment. Although I did just get a call from Truckstops of America...


  1. Glad you don't hate me! We always try new things in the shows, and sometimes it takes off, and we help to build someone up as a speaker and they get numerous opportunities as a result, and sometimes it fails miserably, like this one. Thanks for being our guinea pig!

  2. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for your efforts and thank for having me, despite, well, you know.

  3. Michael...You should head down to North Myrtle Beach! Lots of retirees/near-deads/bookclub members who could relate to your beautiful novel...

  4. Hi Mike,
    LR homey PR sizzle flossin the Benz here.
    Really just posting to see if you get a google alert.
    Let me know.
    By the way, one of my first gigs in '89 or '90 was at the Majestic Theatre
    playing to about 6 people.
    Great reverb with that much open space.
    Very cool stage with drum riser also!

  5. OUr book club in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon has read and will be reviewing your book next Thursday. Since it is my selection, I am rereading it and loving it even more this time through. My husband and I recently purchased a class B van/motor home and took our first 9000 mile trip in April. We are in our 60's and can relate intimately to the book. Thanks for writing it. Any thoughts for our book club (ranging in age from 30's to almost 90)?