I'm not sure what this means, except that I probably shouldn't expect any royalties for my book on the Doors.
Here's what happened: I got this email today from someone named Kelly, asking if the surviving members of the band--and I--ever signed copies of our book, The Doors by the Doors (Hyperion), for Barnes & Noble. Seems Kelly found a new copy at a store for $15 "in the bargain stack." Since it retailed for $40, that is indeed a bargain.
Then he opened the book. "It looks like the title page is signed by all the band. I looked at it really close and it looks like a Sharpie, and not like it was printed that way."
So, are the autographs for real? As Kelly noted, "Sometimes after signings, the chain will toss some signed copies back into the inventory and lucky buyers just might get one."
I think Kelly may know more about the book biz than I do. I wrote back, informing him that the only books we all signed were back in late 2006, when we were all in Hollywood for a party for the band's 40th anniversary--and for the publication of the book. The three Doors signed books for Book Soup, and I added my signature on a number of them when I popped into the store before the events began.
But Book Soup had told me they had an advance sellout of all those books. How was it that some of them went from an independent shop to the remainder bins of Barnes & Noble? I wrote to Kelly, telling him about the event and the books we signed, and asked where he lived, and where he'd stumbled into my book.
He wrote again. Turns out he was mistaken. The book he got was signed only by Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist, and me. He said he lived in Kansas, and the store was in Topeka, at a Barnes & Noble off Wanamaker Street.
Manzarek and me. There goes the big bargain; the quick turnaround, on eBay, for a tidy profit. Still, not a bad deal. "They had like maybe 7 or 8 copies left for $14.99 a piece," Kelly wrote. "The one I got is in mint shape and had no remainder marks. Thanks for the response dude! And I love the book so far!"
All right. Manzarek and I did a couple of events here in the Bay Area, both indie stores: Book Passage in Marin County; The Booksmith on Haight Street, not far from Ashbury. Ray memorably played borrowed keyboards and showed how he came up with the intro to "Light My Fire" (think Bach). At both stores, we signed copies of the book.
Somehow, two years later, they wound up at a Barnes & Noble store in Topeka -- and Buddha only knows how many other stores around the country? Maybe I'll be getting emails from Anchorage, or Roanoke, or Albuquerque.
I'm hoping for one from San Francisco. I've got my fifteen bucks ready.
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