Sunday, May 29th, Will and I drove through pretty farmland and hills from Vernon to Kamloops. We arrived in time to do 20 minutes of the downtown Kamloops historic district walking tour and have a picnic in Riverside park before crossing the river to Bookland North.
The Bookland staff had set copies of Deadly Fall on a cafe table facing the entrance door. They added a second table for my posters and handouts. Since it was a warm, sunny day, Will left to complete the walking tour rather than stay inside reading.
It seems that Kamloops residents shared Will’s desire to take advantage of a fine weekend day after a week of rain. Customer traffic in Bookland was slight. I started at noon; forty minutes later I’d only handed out a few Deadly Fall postcards. During my two hour stint, quite often there was only one customer in the store; for periods there were none. I removed my addiitonal table when I noticed it was blocking the pathway in, encouraging people to veer in the other direction even more than they were already doing.
I decided to be more outgoing than previously and not wait for people to pass by me. I went over to talk to ones who had stopped to browse the bestseller table. A woman around my age was intrigued. She came to look at Deadly Fall, decided this was fate and purchased a copy.
My other two sales of the day went to Bookland staff. I consider these as having an extra perk. There’s always the chance a staff member will like the book enough to recommend it to customers.
I remarked to Ellen, one of the staff, that a benefit of the signing was getting Deadly Fall into their store. “We would have got it anyway,” she said, “because it’s flagged on our system as a British Columbia bestseller.”
“It is?” I asked.
Ellen pointed out three copies of Deadly Fall on their bestseller table. I hadn’t noticed them there before. She studied her computer screen and recited Deadly Fall sales for March, April and May. “Nine here, four there.” Not high numbers, but I hadn’t been aware of any sales in B.C. prior to my mini book tour.
It later occurred to me that if the sales are recorded on the computer system instantly, the May numbers probably came from my Vernon and Kelowna singings. If other stores in B.C. use this bestseller flagging system, this mini-tour’s sales might be prompting these other stores to order Deadly Fall.
One thing leads to another and you never know where an action will ripple.