Sunday, October 02, 2005

Perfect Strangers

Yesterday I sat through my second book-signing at a Borders bookstore here in Houston. Being an unknown author, I certainly didn’t have people lining up to see me. If fact, no one I knew came, and despite some media attention for the event, no one even seemed to know that I’d be there, or faced with me, what I was doing.

I found the last bit particularly odd as I was sitting at a table with a table-top poster of my name and cover, surrounded by the very book that was gracing the poster. But I still had people coming curiously up to me saying, “And what are you doing?” or “Is this your book?”, and even one, “Do you work here?” Still, I was happy to have people to talk to. The first fifteen or so minutes had passed uneventfully, and the bookstore seemed uncharacteristically quiet and empty for a Saturday afternoon. For a few horrifying moments, I actually wondered if I'd manage to sell a single book.

But after that I had visitors: literally perfect strangers. When I revealed that I was a local author, signing my first book, these people were genuinely excited for me. They asked questions and shared anecdotes of their own, wished me luck, and offered advice on how I might make more sales. I didn’t sell a whole lot of books, but I have to admit I had fun. I was delighted to meet each and every person I did, and I hope that some of them will write me an email to let me know what they think of the book.

I remain optimistic for future signings, which is lucky since I have two in Tucson next weekend.


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