Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Slide Show--More Exciting Than Your Aunt Minnie's Trip to Mexico!

1. Edward Kelsey Moore, author of one of my favorite novels of last year, The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can Eat, was this featured speaker of the Delta Memorial Fund. This national sorority has hosted an annual literary luncheon since 1977, and this year provided scholarships to eight high schools students. In addition to speaking, he also played the cello. It was a wonderful afternoon and a great opportunity to talk up upcoming attendees such as Jayson Reynolds and Roxane Gay. Signed copies available.

2. Speaking of events, Meg Wolitzer wowed the audience on Thursday with a inspired reading and entertaining question period. Wolitzer's sales had not been insignificant before The Interestings, but as I noted on our bestseller recaps last year, they exploded with this book, and that left a lot of fans crying out for more. It was nice to have those new editions from Riverhead. I guess if I wasn't reading piles of upcoming event books, I might try The Ten Year Nap next, though I remember Nancy also liking The Wife, which is also the bestselling paperback backlist title, according to Ingram demand. Signed copies of The Interestings available, including a couple of hardcovers.
3. One of the toughest things to handle in programming events is crowd prediction. Needless to say, there is nothing worse than a much smaller crowd than you expected, except maybe knowing that you're going to have a smaller crowd than you want, because that feeling lasts longer. But in the last several weeks, we've had several crowds that have gone above expectations. We didn't have a track record with Brian Freeman, for example, and were sharing him with several other stores for The Cold Nowhere tour. That said, we had a good showing from Homestead High School students (the kids in several classes come to an author event as part of their program) and that led us to cram 36 people into our smaller event space.

Now we had Lois Ehlert in the larger space, and we knew that there was something special about The Scraps Book, but we were still pleasant surprised to get 85 people, which is more than twice what we had for our last two Ehlert presentations. We had a good assortment of signed books from Ehlert, and should have more signed copies of The Scraps Book soon. That's a hint that we ran out!
4. Yes, I know the two crowd photos look alike. Honestly, they rarely look different, but I'm so happy to have a crowd that when I remember, I take the photo anyway. Speaking of event photos, we're still working on getting crowds to our upcoming events. With the Easter display down, Garrison Keillor expanded to fill the whole front table.  Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

5. Our Milwaukee Magazine ad came out and while it's odd to put an April ad in the May issue, I was told that the issue gets to subscribers about a week before our event with Timothy Corrigan for An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Lucé: Decorating a Great French Country House on Monday, April 28, 7 pm, at Villa Terrace. It just seemed like the perfect book to advertise in the magazine. Other events are for Christopher Moore, Garrison Keillor, and two events coming up later--Rachel Kapelke Dale and Jessica Pan for Graduates in Wonderland, in conversation with Milwaukee Magazine's Claire Hanan (no brainer) on May 28, and our ticketed event with Daniel James Brown for The Boys on the Boat for June 12. In retrospect, the ad should have gone in the April issue, but I'm not sure we had the Keillor event confirmed when the April ad space reservation was due. I am very happy with the page 45 placement!

6. And finally, a photo that doesn't have anything to do with any past or future events. Last weekend my nephew Adam visited with his wife Peng and almong other things, we spent time walking around downtown. I forgot how much I always enjoy the Usinger's sausage windows. Here's there likely annual spring window celebrating pothole repair. Their other Milwaukee Bucks themed window was also timely, what with the recent sale of the team.

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