Sunday, September 17, 2006

The End Of The Tour

Friday night at Barnes & Noble in Geneva marked the end of my summer book tour. That's a shame because my signings have been getting better and better.

I drove out of the city early to avoid the worst of Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. I ate dinner at Bennigan's, passing IHOP and Steak N Shake after the bad experiences I noted earlier on my tour. My monte cristo was especially greasy and sat in my belly like a sack of potatoes, but the hurricane I drank went down smoothly. If I hadn't been doing a book signing, I would have ordered another.

As usual, I got to the bookstore about 15 minutes early. The community relations manager (the B&N person who handles events) said my book has been selling very well lately. In fact, she panicked a bit last week when she was down to only one copy. Fortunately, more books came in time for my signing. She won my heart when she asked me up front to sign any left over books for stock (that's a vote of confidence -- it means, "I'm not going to ship them back the minute you walk out the door"). It was good that I came a few minutes early because there was a Winnie the Pooh storytelling event starting at the same time. She got me all set up and headed back to Pooh, checking up on me a few times throughout the evening.

A tandem-riding couple came in to buy my book and decided to get another for their son. Everyone who came in was enthusiastic. Oddly enough, they all shook my hand, too. My brother and my sister-in-law came to visit, keeping me company between signings. Later, my uncle stopped in briefly to buy a book. Over the course of two hours, I signed about eight books for customers, which was especially good considering how many copies had sold there in the weeks before my signing. Since no one mentioned the Fox Valley Bicycle and Ski Club or the QuavR Cycling Club although both publicized the event, I assume interested members bought their books beforehand. I signed about ten more copies for stock. The community relations manager said she was pleased. It was a far cry from the downstate double-debacle of Normal and Peoria exactly two months before.

I might do a couple of holiday signings (Biking Illinois makes a great gift!), and I'm already planning a spring book tour. My strong sales at Geneva should help me schedule more events at Barnes & Noble stores. In the meantime, a bike club has invited me to make a presentation at their monthly meeting, so I might do a winter speaking tour of some sort. I also have a (non-cycling) book proposal in the works.

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