Monday, December 22, 2008

Frozen Normsicle

I like doing book signings. I don't know why ... probably cuz I like messing with people, having fun and talking about my books and stuff.

It took this kind of love to go to Borders in Alaska, er, Orland yesterday ... I mean, get this ... negative three degrees plus thirty mile per hour gusts equaled one frozen dude. My beard went cryogenic in the fifty yards between my car and the front door.

This was my first signing at this Borders, this after having to reschedule once since they had a bit of trouble getting the books in.

But now they had them, so I went in search of readers who aren't afraid to use their funny bones.

My table was set up within view of the front doors, next to, get this, a display for the AARP. How DID they know that I just received my AARP card a week ago? What? I get discounts now. I'm stoked.

Anyway, they had fifty books all ready for me, twenty five of each of my first two books. Time to sell 'em.

There were two factors to consider, the cold outside and the cold economic environment. Americans are being more cautious with their money now, and you can see them think hard before parting with any of their hard earned bucks.

But at the end of five hours, I had just seven left. I sold out "The Adventures of Guy" and eighteen of its sequel, "The Next Adventures of Guy."

Do the math. This comes out to about one book sold every seven minutes. Factor in three people who thrilled me with LONG stories about how they were going to write a book someday, or had written three chapters of the next bestseller ... and I'm, like a polite smile pasted on my face - watching people who might actually buy my books walk past us... and, of course, none of the wannabe authors bought a book.


I'm not Grisham or Stephenie Meyer or any of those other best selling authors. I can't just sit at my desk and just happily sign as people line up to buy my books. I have to go up, song-and-dance my books, and get them to read a bit of the story. I have to razzle-dazzle, get them interested, and then close the sale.

So a book every seven minutes is pretty darn good.

Speaking of Stephenie Meyer, something happened during the signing that gives me reason to hope that I will someday improve on the seven minutes. I had a copy of the cover for my upcoming YA vampire/humor book "Fang Face" on the table. When people heard the magic word, 'vampire', their eyes lit up, and they'd invariable say, "let me know when that book is out!"

I'd hand them a business card with Fang Face's website (, and ask them to check it out and read the excerpt. Hopefully, they'll remember me in August.

Well, I had a great time, and I think Borders will have me back soon.

Hopefully, my beard will be thawed out by then.

Norm - autographed books available on my site (eye wiggle)

The Adventures of Guy
The Next Adventures of Guy
The Heat of the Moment
Fang Face (coming Aug. 2009)


Mary Cunningham said...

Brrrrr, Norm! I got cold just reading! But, it sounds like you warmed many hearts. S. Meyer...N. Cowie is clickin' at your heels!

Morgan Mandel said...

Way to go, Norm! My question is, how did that many people even get to the store? Where did they come from? To sell books, first the people have to be there.

Maybe it's not true after all what they say about people not shopping these days.

Morgan Mandel