Sunday, May 15th, I had my second book signing – at Indigo Signal Hill in Calgary. The 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM stint being longer than my three hours at Indigo TD square, I approached this signing in a more relaxed manner and dressed comfortably in capris and my “Ask me about my book” T-shirt.
I arrived early, arranged my display on the small table set up near the door and tried to catch people’s eyes as they entered. I sensed less avoidance from these Sunday shoppers than I did from the business folk in TD Square, although I wondered, at one point, if those entering were tending to steer left into the store to avoid passing by my table. Dual signings might make sense here, with one writer to right of the door, the other to the left, so no one entering can escape.
Toward noon I made my first sale. A customer got interested when I told her my protagonist is an insurance adjuster. The customer is a claims examiner, doing the job I had 30 years ago. I told her I could use an insurance adjuster contact for authenticity with future books. She said her colleague used to be a property adjuster and took my business card to pass along. We talked about the three of us meeting for coffee to discuss my future novel insurance questions.
Customer traffic picked up. Many were parents with children. Sunday shopping seems a popular family activity. A few more people bought the book. A man remarked, “I’ll take a chance” – on an unknown author, I assume he meant. Others took Deadly Fall postcards. A woman bought the novel for her father’s birthday, which was that day. She thought he’d get a kick out of the setting, being a life-long Calgary resident.
A couple arrived and said they’d driven here from Nanton because they saw a notice of my signing in the Writers Guild newsletter. The wife, a writer, had struggled with the question of going for a local or exotic setting for her novel. She’d opted for the local and was interested in seeing how I handled that in my book. I told her I was scheduled for a book signing at the Tumbleweed Coffee House in Nanton on June 16th. She said she’d drop by.
As we were exchanging business cards, a friend from my writing group came in with her daughter. They hadn’t known I was doing the signing and decided, while they were here, to get the book. The daughter wanted her own copy, so they bought two.
Another friend with daughter showed up for moral support. She liked my table display, but suggested I add something ghoulish. A toy gun? Dagger? Proabably not appropriate. Later, I noticed a store customer carrying a purse with a police tape shoulder strap. I have some yellow “caution” tape at home leftover from a driveway repair. Maybe I’ll drape some around the table at my next Calgary signing.
By 3:30, I felt drained by my day. The last purchaser was a clerk at this Indigo store. She likes myseries and was interested in the novel premise. She’s a high school student, which I hadn’t thought to be my reader demographic, but you never know who will like a book.
The total sold was 10 books, the same number as my downtown TD Square sales, but only two went to people I knew vs. 4-5 the last time. Deadly Fall now being available in paperback helped.
Even though it was a longer period of time, I liked this signing more than the first one. I still wouldn’t say I enjoy signings, but both experiences felt productive for selling books, getting the word out about Deadly Fall and, potentially, making contacts. And things happen that are kind of interesting, like the man with the European accent who heard me talking about the Calgary setting and made a bee-line to the table to tell me he hated Calgary. “They should bottle it up and throw it away.” He also hated fiction and had come to the store, on someone’s advice, to buy a non-fiction book – on anger management.