Have you ever spent three and a half hours sitting at Hastings?
Last Friday was an interesting experience. Unlike any book signing I've done so far. I've never been treated so well and ignored at the same time.
I was offered a drink from the Hard Back Cafe. I told the guy I would take his own personal favorite flavor of smoothie. Orange Cream.
Now I'm sitting at the entrance of the store at a table they set up for me with a big old smoothie filled all the way to the top of the coned lid with whip cream. How cool is that?
Then the batteries run out of my little computer because, like the idiot that I am, I forgot to charge it. So there goes my writing time. What to do? Only thing I could do- read. I picked up the latest Percy Jackson story that I still haven't bought yet.
Most people walk into Hastings on a Friday night to rent a movie. When I say most, I mean every single person who walks into the store and has money.
They're not thinking about books.
The weirdest part of the night was how I didn't have to talk people into buying my book. If they wanted one, they came right up and asked me to sign a copy. Just like that. Which is fine, great really, but it meant that I didn't get to talk to very many people. I'm used to talking people into it.
There, I think that practically everyone who bought a copy did so because I lived right here in Boise. The idea that someone who lives in Boise could actually write a book was so novel that they had to get one just to see.
One guy picked up my book and went straight to the biography. "What does it mean to have your own set of boy/girl twins?" I must have passed the test, he bought one.
Record number reached for the most people who would have bought my book if they had enough money on them. Hastings charged full price, which, in Idaho with tax cost $19.06. I know, ouch.
One non-buyer made things interesting.
"I see you have a whole line of people waiting for you to sign a copy."
The entrance of the store was vacant. Ha ha.
He asked a bunch of questions- how long did it take me to write, how long did it take me to find a publisher, etc., then-
"Wow, I'm sorry. I can tell I'm really holding up the line."
Store still vacant.
"Yeah, I wrote a western. If you turned and walked out of the store right this minute, what's left on your table is more than I ever sold."
Oh. Now I understand the sarcasm. And, after talking to me for ten minutes, he doesn't buy a book. Oh well.
Someone else thought I got paid to sit at a table drinking a smoothie and reading a book. "Good job if you can get it," he said.
I know. Totally.
Hastings was a great host, but after being there for three and a half hours, I still didn't know who was in charge or if a manager was even in the store.
As weird as the night was, I sold a decent number of books, read a quarter of Percy Jackson's last book and sucked down most of an orange cream smoothie. It's a good job, if you can get it.
7 hours ago