Blog No. 173
Daylight savings sucks. What the heck world (or at least countries who follow the archaic rule). There has been study after study about how daylight savings is a bad thing. Productivity goes down, accidents go up, people are inevitably late (or early depending on the season) and sleep cycles are put out of whack for weeks if not longer. It costs money and I believe it shortens people’s lives. And for what? An extra hour of sunlight? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for that sunlight, but at what cost? Besides, it’s already been figured out that we’d get the benefits of the time shift all year. So why only do it in the summer? Let’s make this switch our last and stay at the hour ahead forever.
But daylight savings is not the topic this week. It’s a key element in what I will discuss. Last week I talked all about the busy weekend I had ahead of me. Boy was it busy. This week, I’m going to talk about the same thing, but from the wonderful position of hindsight. First off, it was great. Early on Saturday morning, I was a tad nervous. I knew what I was getting into at Chapters (since I used to work there for so long) but that meant I knew how much work it was going to be. I started the day off at Anchor Coffee House, because what better way to start a day? I zipped back home to collect by bag or tricks and extra books (why not plan to sell hundreds every time?) and drove to the mall.
Christian was already there (early bird) but I got to the table first. After a meet and great with the staff (and a reunion with the ones I worked with) we pre-spent some of our profits (buying books, who can resist?) and set to work. A slow start picked up and by the time our three hours were up, we had a new signing record (34 books sold). It was a fantastic feeling. Drained and excited for the next day, we went home (I stopped for lunch on the way) and prepped for the trip to Sarnia. Special thanks go out to the Chapters staff who were not only a huge help, but bought a few copies too! Also, thanks to our friend Patrick for sticking around and all but dragging people to our table.
Before getting to the Sarnia part of the adventure, I want to mention the play I went to Saturday evening. SpainEcho42 is a Purple Theatre play going on at Mackenzie Hall in Windsor. While I’m associated with the hall, I have no connection to the theatre group. The play was really cool. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you live nearby, check it out. It was a good $15 spent and something different to do.
Getting up an hour early to drive to Sarnia was the worst. (Thanks again daylight savings). Load in at the Sarnia Pop culture Show was nine in the morning, so Christian and I had to be on the road by seven (make that six in real time). The drive was fine and we got there with no trouble. Initially the room where everything was set up seemed tight, but it worked out just fine, and the convention had two more rooms for more stuff! I suppose I’m just comparing it to my only other experience, and that’s at the St. Clair Center for the arts, and that room is huge. We found our table, all alone by the door, and set everything up. Again, a slow start set our expectations low, but soon the place was packed and we were selling books like hotcakes. Being by the door, a lot of folks said they would come back around when they had toured the rest of the room, and somehow, most of them did.
Once in the morning, and once in the afternoon, I zipped off to a small meeting room on the other side of the hotel and took part in a panel. Christian had the pleasure of being in the last one of the day. I over prepared for the first one. All my planned out points went to the wayside as the other authors on the panel referenced classic science fiction that I had never heard of. I like to think I make a couple of decent points though. The second panel went much like the first. I threw away anything I had planned and just went with it. The plan seemed to work. Then it was selling as much as possible until the end, packing up, and heading home.
Christian and I stopped at a pub on the way out of Sarnia and ate way too much, then we were back on the highway. A detour led us to a bridge that was out, and Christian was convinced we were being corralled to a murder farm, but we made it. I flopped into bed that night tired and happy. Selling has never been something I enjoy. It involved bugging people and lots of talking. It’s a key point in being an independent author though, so we push hard when we do it. So far it’s paid off. This weekend was a good example of that.