Here’s sort of a random thought I had during a book signing last week for my new novel Shadow of Innocence (Kunati Publishers) :
I was in another huge Barns & Noble in Nashua, NH and they had given me a super spot - about 20 feet away from the main entrance by the new books table. But with all that, the fist 2 hours were very slow. The Barns & Noble CRM liaison couldn't have been nicer. She came up to me every 15 minutes to ask how it was going and announced every 10 minutes that "Kunati author of Shadow of Innocence, Ric Wasley" was up front and signing books.” (didn't I wish !)
Despite all of her help and me smiling and waving a every customer who came in the door, after the 2 hours that they'd advertised for my signing, I'd had some tire-kickers but had not sold a single book. But was I discouraged ? In a word - YEAH !
Kathy, the CRM, came over and was almost in tears. "I'm so sorry," she said, "this just happens sometimes. I know it's probably an imposition, but do you think you might be able to stay a little while longer. Maybe things will pick up after people get out of work."
Hummm, I thought, I suppose that would mean canceling my appointment for tea with the Queen and my date with Madonna, but... "Sure." I said, "I'll stay.”
That was apparently the offering that the 'Book Gods' had been waiting for, 'cause within 5 minutes I had a line at my table and was signing and schmoozing nonstop for the next hour !
Kathy estimated that I'd moved about 15 - 20 books by the time I left and then, bless her heart, she brought me another 25 copies to sign for the store and she also took my book table and set up a display right at the front of the store next to the New Books table!!
But amid that hour of frenzied signing I had what was probably one of the most personally gratifying (and humbling) experiences I've ever had.
I've mentioned that I was set-up right by the main entrance, and during the two hours when no one bought, a guy had stopped by my table on his way out. He was a really nice guy - a fire fighter/EMT.
We got talking and he really got interested in Shadow and asked “how much?” I told him $25 but that B&N always had some discounts. He looked stricken. Seems he just bought a copy of the new Janet Evanovitch book and had blown his cash and had no credit card. "I could try to find an ATM. How much longer will you be here?" He asked. At that time I was feeling ready to pack it in but said, "probably another hour or so."
"OK," he said. "I'll be back." Sure you will I, thought - you and the Terminator.
Well, more than an hour later, I was happily tallying up my sales and had gone to find the CRM to thank her, before leaving. As I came back to the table to start packing up my things, there was a guy standing in front of the table, a despairing look on his face. It was the guy.
When he saw me he broke into a big grin. "Hey, It's you." He said. "Whew, I thought you had already left. Sorry I took so long, but the first ATM I found was out of service so I had to drive to another mall." I actually found myself getting a little choked up.
I signed his book with a personal message and with more satisfaction than I think I've had at any of my signings so far. Then he asked me if I'd written anything other McCarthy mysteries. I told him Acid Test was the first novel in the series and that he could order it through B&N or Amazon. He wrote that down and asked if there were going to be more McCarthy mysteries and I said that I'd just finished the third one.
He then said probably what is the most satisfying and humbling thing anyone has ever said to me; "I'm going to be watching for it 'cause I plan on buying everything you ever write."
All I could do was to shake his hand and thank him.
That's something that will stay with me for a long, long time as one of those ‘little’ moments that does ‘Big’ things and really makes all the hard work and sleepless nights, worth it.
All the best
Shadow of Innocence
Kunati - April 2007
New from Kunati Publishing: SHADOW OF INNOCENCE - The Newport Folk Festival provides a groovy backdrop for this fun and exciting mystery set in the music and drug soaked sixties. The Baby Boomers and everyone else are sure to enjoy this appealing mystery featuring a pair of musician partners in love and danger. Don't miss Shadow of Innocence! From Kunati Publishing. Available now on; Amazon ,Barnes & Noble and at bookstores everywhere.