Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Week in Photographs and Learning How to Pronounce Authors' Last Names, From Beaulieu (bowl-yer) to Orringer (hard g)

Here are some photos from a few of this week's events.  Bradley Beaulieu  had one of those cool stands with a blow up of his cover from The Winds of Khalakovo.  As a professional bookseller, this would come in handy.  Have I made one yet?  No.

This was a great crowd, partly because Mr. Beaulieu was gracious enough to make us the launch event, though I did recognize some regulars from our science fiction book club.  If you are a local author wanting to do an event at Bowell when your book is published (or when you publish your book), you might make a note of that. 

I found Beaulieu's use of Russian history and iconography to shape his world very interesting.  I learned in the Fantasy Book Critic blog that this is rather unusual.  Robert has some negative things to say, but I can tell he's a tough critic and he does say at the end that this is one of the better fantasy debuts of 2011.

Gary Vaynerchuk was a great evening.  He's a terrific speaker and seems to have boundless energy, considering he had already done a presentation and a tweet up and a meeting at 800ceoread before heading to the bookstore. 

I was intrigued that the author had the same co-writer for the two books, Crush It and The Thank You Economy.  The first book definitely had more of a manic edge, was a bit more confrontational, and talked more about his New York Jets obsession.  The new book is a bit softer, and definitely seemed more targeted to corporate buyers than individuals.   Though there is still definitely advice on how small businesses should think big, the focus is more on how large businesses should think small.

We still haven't done our tweeting and the crowd made me realize we need to start pushing ebooks; I think you can now harness Google editions from our site.  I've signed all the paperwork, but I haven't done any testing yet.
Wednesday was Blue Balliett day and with two school visits and another to the Shorewood Public Library, it was quite a full day. We hoped to get in a visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum, especially with its Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit (one of Balliett's novels is The Wright 3, after all), but alas, they close at 5 on Wednesdays.  We did park outside and peek in the windows.

I forgot my camera, but Tiffany at the Library was able to take some shots, and we have a nice one of Balliett signing copies of The Danger Box.

 And yesterday was a day with Julie Orringer, author of The Invisible Bridge.  By now you've figured out that I only have two good angles for photographs when we have a big crowd.  Close from the side and further back straight on.  We wound up hosting two nice events, one at the JCC and another at the store.  I may have gone on a bit too long with my book club talk (I wanted to keep to 15 minutes but I went a bit over 20) and I still feel that while we are giving out hundreds of our brochures, I don't think I'm yet at the point where I'm getting too many book clubs to come in with help to pick titles.  I did see some representatives though, though I would say most of the folks there were out to see Orringer. 
One of the sad things about events, is that when you do a great big window as we did for Orringer, you have to dismantle it before the author gets there.  We do always keep one of our smaller display windows up until the author arrives.  But if she or one of her friends do happen to find this blog, she'll see that it was really there.

The word-of-mouth on The Invisible Bridge continues to be wonderful and I'm hoping that her attendees (well over 100 in two events) were galvanized to keep the buzz going on the book.  And thanks to Bill Young, who not only takes around authors, but spots first editions.  I swapped out my fourth printing copy for a first that he spotted among our hardcovers. All the other copies we had were eighth printing.  That's a nice amount of printings!

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