Sunday, December 03, 2006

Out With A Whimper

My last Biking Illinois signing event of the year was Thursday night, right after a whirlwind, 3,000-mile, 7-day roadtrip and right before Chicago's first major snowstorm of 2006. While we managed to race home ahead of the storm (it chased us all the way from Oklahoma), the inevitable blizzard hype scared away anyone who planned to come to the Local Authors Night at Barnes & Noble in Schaumburg. I was disappointed because I felt I had generated good publicity for this one. My invitations to bike clubs hadn't been acknowledged (so they may or may not have been passed along to members), but Daily Herald cycling columnist Todd Underwood mentioned the signing, as did the e-newsletter of Windy City Sports magazine.

Fortunately there were a lot of authors there despite the dearth of customers -- I think 80-90% of the books we sold that night were to each other! My wife bought Three Boys Missing by retired Chicago police officer James A. Jack. She also picked up First-Job Survival Guide and A Greyhound's Tale as Christmas gifts. I suggested a few copies of Dating Your Money for her financially aloof sister and friends, but she thought it would be mean.

In the absence of customers, I enjoyed talking to the other writers. My aunt and uncle came for moral support, but they were out of cycling friends to buy books for. One of the managers told me that my book had sold 15 copies there since spring, which he said is very good for a regional title. That made me feel a little better about only selling two books Thursday night.

Naturally, the storm didn't even start until one hour after the event concluded -- there had been plenty of time for anyone to come out for a book or two before it hit. So here's a big, sarcastic "thanks a lot" to the weather forecasters who scared the bejesus out of everyone and spoiled my signing.

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