And sell we did.
You know, we write in such a vacuum. An author puts her dreams, her fantasies, and a lot of her ego into her characters. The acquiring editor makes a purchase, based on her own tastes and her assessment of the market. The publisher packages the book, hoping it will capture the interest of the target readership.
But until you put your product into the hands of the readers, it's all a big crap shoot.
How successful was our launch?
You know you’ve done something right when the “buzz” starts, and demand builds--pulling the product you formerly pushed into the marketplace. By mid-way through Day One, we had to call Midnight Ink, my publisher, to ask them to drive over more boxes of books. (Midnight Ink's home office is in Wooddale, about 25 miles from Mall of America.) We went through the same re-stocking panic on Day Two, and this time the new head of publicity at Midnight Ink drove over boxes of books. He and two friends hand carried them into the flagship store.
By Day Three, well, the buzz about my book had reached a fevered pitch. Word had spread throughout the mall, and many of the 5,000-plus scrapbookers in attendance were talking about my protagonist, Kiki Lowenstein.
How do I know this? Well, folks came in to share their enthusiam.
For example, I learned that a woman waiting in line at a make-n-take booth in the Rotunda, started reading Paper, Scissors, Death aloud to the others in line. When she quit, three women who had been listening came upstairs to the Archivers store and demanded copies because they wanted to know what happened next! Another woman bought five copies, determined to send a book to everyone on her holiday gift list. And then there was the woman who bought books on Day One and made a special point of coming by on Day Three to say, “I’m so enjoying the book. I can’t wait to tell all my friends.”
Immediately before David and I left to drive nine hours back home to St. Louis, the Archivers store manager Jodi announced over the public address system that folks had ten minutes to get a signed book—and a small crowd raced over to ask me to personalize their copies.
It was like a dream come true.
So here I am today, back in my little office. My dogs are snoring. David is off at work. Everything seems so normal, except…my whole world has changed.