Friday, May 10, 2013

Bookless in Burque?

How do you have a book signing without books? I might learn that today at the Southwest Book Fiesta. You've heard of Sleepless in Seattle? Well, I might be Bookless in Burque. (Or would it be bookless in Bernalillo County? Your choice.)

I've been there before. High Tide in Tucson, is a book by Barbara Kingsolver. I had my own low tide in Tucson that started my career as an author on the road. I was at the Southwest Authors event, and my book, Rattlesnake Lawyer was supposed to be shipped by the distributor. The first day there were no books at all. I had to sit at a table and try to sell people on the concept of my books, without having an actual book to show them.

I gave everyone a pitch regardless. I wasn't selling Florida swampland, I felt like I was selling a book about Florida swampland. People said that they'd "keep my book in mind." Out of sight, out of I wasn't optimistic.

The people at the booth next to me were selling their self-published book about hypnotism and they weren't doing much better. They couldn't hypnotize anyone into buying their book. We were all getting sleepy by the end of the first day.

On the second day, I went through the first six hours without a book to sell. Finally,with a half hour left in the show, a UPS guy arrived in carrying two packages of books. A cheer went up.

Within moments, my table was crowded and I sold out my books. Maybe they felt sorry for me, maybe I was just a good salesman, but I gained confidence to be able to sell books even when the books aren't there. I suppose selling a book is like selling a stock...

I don't know if I will have books today or tomorrow for the event. Bookless in Burque? No problem!

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