I've been waiting for a blog post to be vetted by a second party, and as the day is almost over, I must wing it with a different post, written on the fly. It think it's time for a what did I do today post. I think there are a lot of people out there wondering why I can't get whatever they needed done, so sometimes an explanation really is needed, especially on a day like today where ten hours flew by in a flash.
a. Once again, I am lucky enough to be featured in an upcoming NPR piece. More details when it is released. But this morning was spent feverishly gathering what I'd written on fall releases that I have particularly enjoyed. It should have been finished yesterday. And why was it not?
b. Yesterday we chased down some extra copies of Willie Davis's memoir. I thought we had the right amount of books, only we got a call about every half hour from Friday through Monday. I usually guess 10-15 attendees for every call. When in this case, it turn out to be ten calls for every attendee. We had a perfectly acceptable showing, in line with his other two events. I should note that celebrity events that appeal to older folk seems to generate calls out of proportion with turnout.
c. And our newsletters finally came back printed and addressed yesterday. We spent about two hours taping them together and then Halley and I hit the post office bulk rate center. It was her first time, and she found it quite fascinating, as I knew she would.
d. Back to today. We're hoping to target the Italian community for our event with Christopher Castellani, whose new novel, All this Talk of Love, is coming soon. Castellani will be at Boswell on Wednesday, February 27, 7 pm. It's a lovely novel! More on that later.
e. I gathered together the staff recs that were sent to me in the last two weeks to get submitted to the Indie Next List. I also shared them with the staff in a newsletter, as well as info about the events that I'd confirmed. There are several folks who want to read the new Ian Rankin. He'll be at Boswell on Friday, February 1, 7 pm, for Standing on Another Man's Grave. There will also be a signing at Mystery One at 5 pm.
f. Shorewoodian Elaine Schmidt's novel for kids was ordered from Kansas City Star Books. In the old days, every newspaper had a book division. Now they are few and far between. The book is called The Travelers: Present in the Past, and she'll be at Boswell on Monday, January 14, 7 pm. Coincidentally, Schmidt dropped off a review copy in hope of getting a staff review.
g. Greeting card headers were printed! Anne received several card lines we ordered, but several of the Valentine's Day cards from Good Paper (those wonderful cards from Africa) and Hello Lucky! (letterpress from San Francisco) didn't have their backers, so I printed them. Trend alert--I'm seeing less cards designated Valentine and more that convert to friendship or blank everyday afterwards, but they are sold in as Valentine cards. Less to markdown/exchange out/hold over till next year, I guess. Which of the three options you have depends on the card vendor and who you are as a retailer. We are small potatoes, which means we don't exchange out. The good news? We rarely have much to exchange anyway. In fact, we don't usually have enough Valentine's Day cards.I'm hoping to fix that for 2013, which is why they were ordered in November.
h. While I was printing, I made Jason's shelf talker for the science fiction book club. They are reading Thirteen, by Richard K. Morgan on Monday, February 11, 7 pm. All are invited.
i. Somehow in all the events, we've had several things fall trough the cracks. Today I finally figured out what to do with the extra signatures we need for Hollow Earth. I sent them to Carole who'll send them to John who will either send them to me or back to Carole. I included a check for postage, but we're talking about book plates, not books.
j. Our great hope to get books signed by Joan Walsh, author of What's the Matter with White People, now also rests on book plates, not books. I've got the names of the dozen or so people who were not able to buy copies at our event. A sellout!
k. At offsites, if we do $200 or more in sales and don't pay any rental fees, we donate a percentage back to the host organization or a nonprofit they designate. For the Paul Tough event in November (Tough wrote the bestselling How Children Succeed), that organization is the Public Interest Law Society at Marquette, or PILS. They will be getting a check for $200.
Only a couple of things to do before I leave!