Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Good Bad Thing

I’ve been doing a lot of signings the last few weeks, and am getting seriously fuzzy-brained. Worse, it’s not over yet. Friday we’re leaving for Galena, IL, and Madison, WI. Hope I don’t end up in Nashville, TN, and Wilmington, DE.

But an interesting thing happened on our way to Des Moines and Omaha last weekend. We stopped in Owatonna, MN, for lunch at Cabela’s. Have you ever been in a Cabela’s? Testosterone City. Guns and ammo, hunting and fishing equipment, and a mountain at the back stacked with stuffed game. Everything from polar bears to pheasants in lifelike poses. But they have great lunches – try their walleye fingers. Anyway, we had lunch and on the way out I saw they had some huge candy canes on sale. We’re at that stage of Christmas giving in our family where we mostly give to one another’s favorite charities in one another’s names. I thought it would be kind of fun to attach the card to a candy cane, especially a really big one. So I picked out a bunch of them and went down to the main floor in front pay for them.

Now, lately I’ve been carrying around a little clutch purse, but for the trip I got out this very large purse and put the clutch inside it. When I paid for the canes, I picked up the bag of them, and the clutch purse, and walked out. It was more than two hours down the road that I needed something from the big purse – and discovered it wasn’t in the back seat.

I called Cabela’s and sure enough, they had the big purse. I was sick with disappointment at myself. I’d put a couple of "show ‘n’ tell" items in there for the signings, plus a whole big packet of Thai silk sample flosses I’ve been giving away to people who buy a copy of Thai Die. I kicked myself all the way to Des Moines and again to Omaha.

I finally decided not to stay for supper in Omaha (paid for by A Stitch in Crime bookstore-needlework shop), but start for home so we could stop at Cabela’s and get my big purse. Because of the Christmas season, they were open really late, so made it in good time. We found ourselves at home late Saturday night, tired but in possession of the purse.

And the next morning woke to find the upper midwent cowering under rain, freezing rain and sleet. There were cars in ditches all along I-35. We would have been driving home on that highway if I hadn’t left my purse in Cabela’s.

New topic: I’ve been getting some positive reviews from the Big Guys: Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, etc. Does anyone know if this translates into sales?


Camille Minichino said...

If only there were an algorithm to give us the relation between reviews and sales, or ANYTHING and sales. But PW is supposedly the mag of record that booksellers use, so how can that hurt.

(not to mention, congratulations, by the way)

I do think a lot of the myths and rules about sales and what affects them have changed with the Internet era.

I'd love to hear other ideas on that.

Betty Hechtman said...

Isn't it interesting how a seemingly bad things can turn into a good thing when it's put into the big picture.

Congrats on the good reviews, but I'm afraid I'm clueless about figuing how they fit in with sales.

But they certainly can't hurt.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I believe that libraries pay particular attention to reviews, and I think any mention is good--but a good mention is great.