Sunday, December 12, 2010

A visit with Prospero


Book signing event Saturday at Prospero's in Marshall went great. Set a record for books sold at one event, and also a single buyer record, as one customer bought THREE copies - one for himself, and two as gifts. That never happened with "Fantastic Texas", though I have had people buy two copies at once. Thanks to Ed Clikard being for the biggest fan of "Texas & Other Planets"!

Prospero's is a small, independent book store - there is no chain book store in Marshall - and the ratio of sales to traffic was very high. It's a neat little place, very cozy and nicely decorated, and I urged Patricia to come. She agreed with me and enjoyed the day. We were there from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thanks for Don Falk for hosting me twice in the same year! He's a great guy!.

Only small drawback was that I had at least three people ask me about buying "Fantastic Texas" and I had no copies to sell them. I didn't anticipate there would be still be a demand. I gave them promotional business cards, and told them they could buy it online. Meanwhile I am dropping an order in the mail to Ian Strock at Gray Rabbit Publishing, who took over the Fantastic Books titles.
One strange thing: The reason I asked for the date is that they have an event in Marshall once a month called Second Saturday, when they block some streets downtown so people can stroll among the shops as well as street vendors. But they cancelled it for this month. I don't know if that had any impact on the traffic at Prsopero's; I'm inclined to think the cold weather was more of a factor. After dark, people began to come into downtown to see the lights, but they didn't drop in the book store - I don't think we sold any books during the last hour.

While at Prospero's I got a call from the book manager at the Hastings in Nacogdoches. I had planned a signing for "Fantastic Texas" there back in May, but had to cancel because of the death of my father-in-law. I promised I would reschedule, but then after inking the deal for "Texas & Other Planets" I decided to wait until I could return for a signing for both books. The Nacogdoches book manager said I could have a signing on Saturday, Dec. 18, the last Saturday before Christmas - which is great. My rationale for getting in a few signings before Christmas is to take advantage of holiday shopping. Yesterday in Marshall there definitely seemed to be a number of people in Prospero's doing holiday gift shopping. I will be be going to Nacogdoches whether or not I have "Fantastic Texas" in hand. The reaction of people to "Texas & Other Planets" has been very good - they love the title and the cover.

The publication date of "Fantastic Texas" last year was Dec. 19, so it just missed the holiday shopping season. I have avoided that snafu with "Texas & Other Planets". John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press says some orders have also come in through Amazon.

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