I met a bookseller in Palm Beach that knows James Patterson, the award-winning author whose novels tend to dominate the bestsellers lists.
I was relating some of my experiences doing events at independent stores vs. big box stores. He wasn’t surprised when I told him about one particular experience I had at my local big box. The store wouldn’t even put up a sign promoting the event in their store, and when I showed up for the event, they pointed to a foldout table and said, “Your books are in those boxes over there. Set them up however you like.” It was painful.
He consoled me with a story Mr. Patterson told him. He showed up for an event at a big box and they had a table with books displayed on it, but it the books were written by a different Patterson!
I’m not too frustrated when my hosts are less than hospitable because I’m me. In 3 months I’ve probably sold as many books as JP sells in a day. If I were him, I’d be pissed. If JP is doing an event at your store, it is a BIG DEAL. And if you are a bookseller and you don’t know who he is, you should be whacked over the head with the countless bestsellers of his in your store until you lose consciousness.
For the most part, it’s been very rewarding meeting booksellers from all over. It’s great to be around folks that love book so much. Most of them promote the event in local publications and on the radio. Still, on occasion I’ve felt as if I were a solicitor in a “No Soliciting” zone.