Our weekly Wednesday walk took place in the city’s northwest. On the way, Will and I stopped at Chapters Dalhousie. Three copies of Deadly Fall stood on the shelf. We asked the manager about book signings. He looked up Deadly Fall on his computer and said the distributor allowed easy returns, so he’d be happy to host a launch. He expected he’d order 15 copies of the book, hold them for 90 days and do a second signing, if I only sold four or five the first time.
I guess I was due a reality check regarding sales.
Sales aren’t everything. Signings get the word out about the book; it might be fun to discuss writing and Deadly Fall with customers as well as a store’s Saturday bookseller staff, who might become intrigued enough to read it and, hopefully, later recommend it to customers.
After the walk, we drove home via Indigo Signal Hill. Walking through the store, I spotted Judy, a bookseller acquaintance. In the mystery section, we found Deadly Fall on a bottom shelf – where, unfortunately, my “Ca” name falls alphabetically in this store. Judy shuffled a few other books and turned Deadly Fall facing out. Now the large yellow cover page leaf gazes upward at browsers – a decided improvement.
Judy gave me the manager’s business card to contact about a possible book signing. From our online checking, Will and I knew that one or two books have sold at this store. Judy said an automatic system places a re-order for each book as it leaves the store. That’s good to know.
That afternoon, I heard back from Chapters/Indigo’s home office and received a two-page Event Request form. It asks questions like, “Please describe in detail how you envision the event unfolding.” Since I’ve never done an author signing, I don’t know. Chapters/Indigo said they would require 4-6 weeks lead time to arrange an event. With my spring schedule, I won’t be able to do a signing until the last two Saturdays in June. After that, comes Canada Day weekend and two weekends of Stampede – would the influx of visitors to Calgary drop into bookstores and take an interest in a novel set in this city? I’ll have to think about that.