Blog No. 285
The list of events is dwindling rapidly, but boy, has it been worth it! I’m not going to lie. While rushing to try to get The Thinking Machine released, the long list of events was a miasma of promise and stress. Now that I’m down to three left and I’ve sold more than half of the initial run of The Thinking Machine, I’m feeling pretty good. I may even have to order more copies by the end of the month. That does mean another big dump of cash, but if I’m at that point, I should be close to getting back what I spent on the first batch. My only big concern about that is saturating the market, but Cristian and I sold a good 800 – 900 copies of No Light Tomorrow over its run, so I still have some ways to go before I max out on Thinking Machine. Just having some solid sales at the last few events has been encouraging, though. Most were sold at Shock Stock, but I did manage to get a few sold at the Biblioasis reading.
That reading was last Friday, and it has been a long time since I last did a reading. I’m pretty sure it was the All These Crooked Streets launch in November. I was feeling pretty rusty. I did some practicing, but practicing reading sucks. Once you’ve got the rough spots mapped, you just have to remember to slow down a bit when you get to them. At least that works for me. The big challenge is to get creative, lean into the characters, and make it entertaining. And not mess up too badly. There is always a chance you’ll just screw something up in front of a group of people. But, the group was pretty big. There were nearly 30 people there, on a Friday night, to see some fiction authors read from their books. I was rather happy with that.
The whole evening went well. It was Christian’s baby, really. He wanted it, he made the contact at Biblioasis, and he found the other readers. Since we were focusing on All These Crooked Streets, Christian, Ed, and I made up three of the five. We just needed a couple more to round it out. We asked Jessica Gouin, since we’ve worked with her before and know she works hard. Since she writes romance, we can’t invite her to the ChiSeries readings, so we wanted to get her at this one. For the last author, we approached some local publishers and looked for someone we didn’t know, and presumably, the audience wouldn’t ether. Christian asked Aimee from Palimpsest Press. She put us in touch with Jamie Tennant, and author and radio guy from Hamilton. As a bonus, personal friend and local radio juggernaut, Dan MacDonald agreed to host the event, adding a touch of class.
So, the stage was set. We were at a cool local bookstore that has a publishing arm doing some really great work, we had the readers, and we had an audience. I’d like to say it all went flawlessly, but that’s not realistic. It was as near to perfect as I could imagine, though. We even had a visit from the fine folks at Snapd who took some awesome shots of the event. After the success at Shock Stock, I was thrilled. Now, I’m gearing up for the ChiSeries reading in Toronto for next Wednesday. I’ll be going up with Chiristian, of course, and staying in another hotel. I won’t be making any money, but the payment we do get for reading is significant. It helps offset the travel costs. Anything that helps you promote in another city, especially a big city like Toronto, is appreciated. As a bonus, I’ll get to see the great people of ChiZine Publications and the regulars who attend their Series. Then it’s back the next day to work and prep for the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market. What a ride.