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 by...no 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...