Last summer, Bill Rabkin & I spoke at a big library event in Palm Springs where were supposed to talk about our new book, answer questions, and then sign copies afterwards. About eighty people showed up, the talk was one of the best we’ve ever given, and the people in the audience were obviously enjoying themselves and asked us lots of great questions. I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough books to accomodate everyone who was going to want to buy one.
After our presentation, we were mobbed at the table. Everyone wanted to tell us how much they enjoyed listening to us.
But we sold less than a dozen books. I couldn’t understand it. How could the audience like us so much… but not buy anything?
Today, my brother Tod and I spoke at an event together in Palm Springs. Again, we had a big crowd, and they seemed to love us, laughing and applauding and smiling. Once again, I thought we hit a home-run. Afterwards, they all came up to thank us, take their pictures with us, kiss us…
But did they buy books? Not really. I think I signed less than 12.
So what’s the deal? Is it the age of the audience (well over 60)? Was it something I said? Were they all Battlestar Galactica fans? It’s not because these were seniors on a fixed income… these were very wealthy seniors.
I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worthwhile doing speaking engagements in Palm Springs…at least from a bookselling point-of-view.
There was a bright side. We spoke at a fundraising event for a charity… and the event managed to raise a lot of money for the cause, so that was good. And I had a good time, met a lot of nice people, had a tasty lunch, and got a very unusual gift… a book mark that’s also a magnifying glass.
I gave the book mark to my daughter, who plans to use it to fry ants.