Last night, I had my first book signing sponsored by Barnes & Noble in Princeton. I was accompanied by a few of my fellow authors... each of us taking ten minutes to either chat or read to the audience. My aging parents sat smiling in the front row, beaming with pride, while my wife tended to our equally thrilled daughters. This was a landmark for all of us, and I rejoiced that my parents were alive and of sound mind (despite dad's stroke a few years back) to share the night.
I had spent the week posting flyers around our town for the event, as well as angling for local press coverage. Indeed, a small feature article by the local paper suggested that my novel and the signing event was the place to be for Thursday night. Of course, on the down side, I was competing with the NCAA Tournament and Spring Break vacations. There were at least a dozen folks who had said they were coming, but for whatever reason or just fate, never appeared. But as I am fond of pointing out, for every step back, there are more positives to compensate. In this instance, other supporters rallied.
Overall, after the author presentations, I had about an hour and a half to sell (B&N handled this aspect) and sign books. I was honored to discuss, hug and sign away with the various people purchasing my debut novel. While the store record for sales at a signing was not broken, I made a darn good run with the highest sales total of the evening. More importantly, the community manager of Barnes & Noble became a fan and supporter. No, I am not on the shelves yet... it is still a virtual reality of sales via Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com, but I'm closer to this goal. I now have a track record of strong professional reviews, five-star fan reviews, tens of thousands of unique visitors to my website, the endorsement of a Barnes & Noble manager, and I'm hoping a decent record of sales for the two and a half months that the novel has been available to purchase (I'll have the quarter end numbers soon). Word-of-mouth continues to spread on the Internet grapevine, and I will resubmit my novel to Barnes & Noble for shelf consideration.
The above might sound like too much focus on economics, but it seems to me that transcending foundations and shaking the very rafters of existence (as ascribed to me by Front Street Reviews) only matters if I am able to reach my audience, to effect change in the way people view the human condition and our existence in this universe. Unfortunately, business still controls access, and I will not pay heed to the naysayers. Persistence and perseverance are two of the greatest qualities we possess. The book signing was part of a dream come true, and my feet have yet to touch the ground. The journey continues...
Causes W.L. Hoffman Supports
Preservation New Jersey - Trenton, NJ The Waldorf School of Princeton - Princeton, NJ Resource Center for Women and Their Families - Hillsborough, NJ