Sunday, April 21, 2019

Book Signing Road Trip

Now it would be super cool to have a publisher foot a hotel room for an author going to do a book signing, but yeah, that's not the level of publishing I'm at. And really, hotels cost money, money that comes off of my bottom line. Have I mentioned how Dutch I am? I am. Very.

That means when I set up a book selling even or signing I'm all about the one day road trip. I pack my own food. I gas up the car, and I set the alarm for the wee hours. Yesterday, I set out at 6am for Traverse City. It an almost three hour drive, but it was a nice morning. The roads were fairly empty, and once I was on the highway, cruise control took on the pedal action. Often for these types of trips, I share a table with another author to help split expenses and to keep each other company. And I did this time too, but he had to drive separately because his later plans varied from mine. The radio kept me company. I had plenty of time to listen to some music that I don't normally get a chance to get to in my usual car rides while doing errands.

Our first stop was a craft and vendor show in Williamsburg, just outside Traverse City. We were placed in an odd little cramped pass-through spot between the two larger vendor rooms. One of those rooms had lovely bright lighting. The other was all glass along one side and the sunlight was shining in. Our room, well, it was dimly lit. However, it was the pass through between both rooms and contained the bathroom. And a bar. Too bad the bar wasn't open. It would have made things more interesting.

As you may imagine, our sales were fairly low, in our darkened surroundings as customers squinted their way into the building from the bright sunny morning and from both brightly lit rooms. It turned out to be an okay show, but not one I would drive almost three hours for again. However, I did get to meet some new readers, so that's always fun.

Once that show was over, we packed up, which takes about ten minutes - we're pretty practiced at scattering once events are done - my table buddy headed for home. I drove twenty minutes to the Grand Traverse Mall and set up in Bookbrokers, a lovely indie bookstore with a super friendly staff.

I've sat at a table in a bookstore with my books before, and at a table with my books in a mall before, but this was actually fun. Have I mentioned how great the staff was? They were. They made sure I had a comfortable chair, something to drink, and plenty of conversation between customers.

My favorite part of the day was meeting a young woman and her friend who had 'never met an author before'. Like we're some illusive mystical creature. We had a good laugh and talked a lot about writing processes. She bought a couple books. We took a picture together. Good times. 

When my time there came to an end, I packed up, went out to my car to eat and headed home with the tunes blaring. I got to see the sun rise and the sun set. I sold books. I got to meet readers. It was a good day.

I like how Doc's shirt matches my hair and his hat matches my dress.
If you're ever up in Traverse City (or down, depending on where you are in the world), do stop by Bookbrokers and say hello to Doc, the owner. Ask for a book and he'll find you something even better to read, maybe even something by a Michigan author. They have a whole wall of signed Michigan authored books! And used books. And various items by local craftspeople. Get something to drink from Kramer's Café, slip a few pieces into the community puzzle, and then settle into a comfy chair and read for a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jean - sounds like a useful day and you met some interesting people. Doc looks delightful ... especially as he's a book store owner. Glad it went well and yes car trips with one's own music playing always enjoyable - cheers Hilary


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