There are a number of good reasons for ticketed events. Much as we enjoyed our free-for-all events with David Sedaris and Jim Gaffigan in the spring, there is definitely more of a feeling of calm with a ticketed event, such as we had with Junot Díaz on Monday, and the sales keep us competitive with other markets. There's an old saying that you wouldn't bring your own beer to a bar, but you'd be surprised that this sage wisdom doesn't always translate well.
We start with a conversation--do you want to maximize sales or attendance? And for most publishers and authors, the idea is to reach as many folks as possible. So for Eben Alexander, the author of Proof of Heaven, who is on tour for the deluxe edition of the hardcover (with DVD), we know that most of the attendees will already have the book. Both we and the publisher are hoping that his presentation will get folks to add on a gift edition, either for themselves or a holiday present. Alexander is coming to Boswell on Tuesday, November 19, 7 pm, by the way.
Packers Pride, we did close the store. But for Simon Winchester, in town to talk about The Men Who United the States, for an event co-sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio, we created Fort Boswell.
Don't laugh, but this idea came to me in the middle of the night. We'd use our bookcases to create a discrete space with an entryway. Certain sections were inaccessible to non-attendees, most notably all the fiction and genre cases, history, and young adult. But the front half of the store, the rest of the kids' section and a select number of nonfiction sections (depending on which way the cases were facing) were quite shoppable. And remember, those sections are mostly inaccessible during the talk anyway.
The Men Who United the States.