In those 90 minutes, I sold 9 copies, which doesn't seem like many when you consider that the owner ordered 30 copies, but Book Tavern employee Katie (whose last day is today) told me that the average local author only sells 2-3 copies per signing, so that makes mine a rousing success!
Matthew, the one other person in the store at 9, told me that my success was due to my friendly personality. He seemed like a good guy, and we talked for quite a while. I must admit, I was nervous at first, as I don't consider myself good with strangers, and there was only one person (besides Katie) with whom I was already acquainted (a friend and Guild of Poetic Intent member from USCA), and he didn't know about the signing until he walked by the store and saw my name on the window!
But yeah, I did my best to chat to most entering patrons... the ones who walked in slowly enough to hear my pitch, anyway. hehe I met some good people that way. At least, they seemed like good people from what I gathered during our conversations. I could be wrong... I tend to be a lousy judge of character, but I hope in this case, I was right. =)
There was the married couple of 55 years, of whom the husband called wife Dorothy, 'the Dragon Lady.' She said, "You would think that after 55 years of marriage, I'd be used to it by now." I responded with, "Actually,, after 55 years of marriage, you would think he'd know by now not to call you that." ;-)
Then there was Tony, who made my night. He bought the book and, in what I believe was a Caribbean accent, asked me to sign it, 'To Tony- Thanks for buying the first copy,' just in case I become famous. I thought it was funny, so I complied... along with, 'Good luck.' hehe He then had a friend take a picture of him with me, which I thought was cool. Nobody else did. hehe
There were others, too, including one guy who asked me to make it out to his girlfriend, whose birthday was next week (I made sure to write, 'Happy birthday' in it); Daniel, a history buff of Romanian descent with the matching accent--I enjoyed talking to him about audiobooks; a woman who bought it for her son, Noah; and a few others I can't recall off the top of my head. Those people stand out, though.
At the end of the night, I bought two of the remainders; one to donate to the Columbia County Library in Evans, and the other to send a long-time friend. Another friend, with whom I attended grade school, commented on Facebook that she wants to buy a signed paperback edition, so I'll call Book Tavern owner David today and tell him I want one more. He lets me buy them at cost, so if I sell it at sales price plus shipping, I'll make a small profit... even though she's a friend and I should let her have it for the same price I pay. But, I need to sell these if I'm going to write as a career.
In addition to the two copies of Relic, I bought a sack full of books after the signing gig was over. I had taken in a bag of trades just before going into the Soy Noodle House next door at about 6pm, and got $30+ in store credit. I picked up Justice League Dark vol 1, Matt Groening's Big Book of Hell, Stephen Colbert's I am America (And So Can You!), a collection of Zits comics, The Book of Sequels, Ursula K. Le Guin's Steering the Craft. After all that, I still have $10 in store credit left!
I also got a Valentine's/birthday gift for my sister. I'd already taken care of Valentine's Day for my girlfriend first, which was good, since I didn't see anything I thought she would like. Well, nothing other than the Le Guin book maybe, which she's welcome to read when I finish it if she wants.
It's obvious I've been on a humor kick lately, since I bought a bunch from Book Tavern's humor section last night, but I'm also getting back into writing guides, which is why I got Steering the Craft. I had gotten the illustrated Elements of Style and Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing (both of which I've read), as well as two Complete Idiot's Guides (one for Poetry, the other for Graphic Novels). At Book Exchage, I picked up Eudora Welty's One Writer's Beginnings, which I finished Thursday and greatly enjoyed.
I read David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day, which does mention his writing life, and I checked out from the library David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster, a collection of his essays. I'm not sure if there's any essays on writing in it, but I hope so.
Anyway... to make a long story short (too late), I enjoyed last night's visit to the Book Tavern and hope to do another signing some time in the future!