Mark Terry

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Book Tour, Day 1

July 12, 2007

Well, today began my first leg of actual on-the-road work to promote THE SERPENT'S KISS. This means, basically, that I will visit bookstores and if they have copies in stock, offer to sign them. If they don't have copies in stock, I will beg them to order them. If they have ordered copies and they haven't shown up yet, I will thank them and threaten, er, promise to come back again and sign them.

This is the glamorous life of novelists.

First stop, well, okay, second stop. First stop was at OfficeMax to pick up office supplies.

First bookstore: Borders Books & Music, Auburn Hills, MI. They had no copies in stock. This was particularly dismaying because I stopped by there a week or so ago, they said they had been ordered and expected them in Monday or Tuesday of this week. They assure me they've been ordered but apparently haven't arrived yet, or nobody's seen them, or they're sitting out on the loading dock in the hot sun. Nobody seems to really know. I thank them and leave, threatening, "I'll be back."

Borders Books & Music, Oakland Mall, 14 Mile Road, Troy, MI. They had two copies on the shelf. The young lady at the information desk was such a delight and so enthusiastic that if I haven't been happily married, I would have agreed to marry her right on the spot. I signed them, we stuck AUTOGRAPHED stickers on them and found them a very nice corner spot on the NEW PAPERBACK table.

Barnes & Noble, John R Road, Troy, MI. You could easily walk from the Troy Borders to the Troy Barnes & Noble--it's merely across the street from the mall. But go to the Borders, where they actually have my books. B&N has 3 signed copies of my far earlier novel DIRTY DEEDS, but none of my later books. They didn't last time I swung by promoting THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK either. The guy at the information desk said they "hadn't gotten their copy yet." (One copy?) I said thanks and moved on.

Barnes & Noble, Rochester Road, Rochester, MI. No copies there and again, the guy at the information desk said, "We've ordered one (one?) but it hasn't shown up yet." At first I think I'm having a flashback to the B&N in Troy, but no, it's a different store, different desk, different guy. (They were both tall, though). I thank him and move on down the road.

Borders Books & Music, Rochester Road, Rochester, MI. They had three copies out on their Paperbacks Of Interest table. I take them to the information guy, who gladly supplies me AUTOGRAPHED stickers then takes me over to their MYSTERY section where there are two more copies, which I sign. We chat for a moment, then I thank him and head back home.

Total: 59 miles, 7 signed books.

I'll keep you posted.


Mark Terry


Blogger Shannon said...

Could you elaborate a bit on how you ask them to order copies if there aren't any?
I wonder if you go in (not as the author) and order a few copies then don't pick them up, do they then just stick them on the shelf or send them back?

7:03 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Well, if I can't find them on the shelf, I go stand around at the information desk until somebody notices me. Then I say (this is pretty close to verbatim):

"Hi, I'm Mark Terry. I'm a local author and my latest novel just came out. I've been swinging by bookstores to see if it's stocked, and if it is, to see if I can sign the stock. I didn't find any on the shelves. Could you check and see if they're in the back or on order?"

Sometimes they get friendly and sometimes they act like I'm asking for their kidney, but they always check because, oddly enough, it's their job to sell books and occasionally they make an effort in that direction. If they say, "No, we don't have any on order," I will then say:

"Are you going to?"

I suppose I could say, "Why don't you?" but I don't want them getting defensive, so I couch it as a question. Sometimes they say, "I'm doing that right now" or "Sure," but I haven't had anybody say "No, go away."

From time to time I'll get a bookstore person who does the really puzzling thing. They see they don't have any books ordered and they say, "Would you like me to order them?"

This is such a no-brainer that it makes me wonder if they're even tracking the conversation. The obvious answer is, "Yes, thank you."

I might be thinking, "Yes, order a few hundred and make sure you sell them. Mix them in with your stack of Harry Potter, say, every other book, because everybody'll be..."

Anyway, you get the idea.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

FYI-I was at the book store downtown Chelsea this week with my mom and looked for your book but didn't see it. Thought about asking them to order it, and should have, but I'm chicken I guess. ;) Sounds like hard work, but pretty cool too. Seeing your published book in the store probably doesn't get old.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Yeah, you should've asked. Tell them to order one for everybody in town! :)

12:29 PM  

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