So the great follow-up news to my 10/18 post is that the Tribune reporter DID receive the book previously misplaced by the Post Awful. She was kind enough to call and put my mind at ease. In turn, I called June and Marshelle at the Fort Dearborn USPS station and thanked them for their time and assistance…call off the dogs…all’s well that ends well.
But that begs the question, will this all end well? Too soon to say, of course, but I know now I’ve really got to polish my act. It’s all well and good for me to go to my hometown for the 1st book signing and be treated with so much gentle kindness and enthusiasm. But, I highly doubt I’ll be afforded such a reception on any other step of this journey. There is no guarantee the reporter at the Trib will enjoy The Farmer’s Story, or offer it a favorable review. And, the book signing at the Borders Books & Music on November 27 could be a total success or a total belly flop. The sales manager who invited me in asked a careful question during our strategy call this week: “So, are you able to be engaging? Can you talk to people? Or are you one of those writers who just wants to sit and sign books and not speak to anyone?”
I stammered a bit, which I’m sure really sounded encouraging, and then assured him I have a theatre background! I have a long history with stage and performance and communicating with co-workers in Human Resources applications! Plus, I’m a waitress, so I can talk to anybody!
Nice. Yes. Invite me into your ginormous retail book store on the busiest shopping weekend of the year. I promise I’ll be engaging…I am a waitress. I know every diner kitchen slang known to man.
So, between a hopeful interview with a reporter at the Chicago Tribune and a hopeful sales coup at one of the largest bookstore chains in the country…let’s hope I can channel more Katharine Hepburn and less Cathy the Comic Strip. God knows I put my new pal Melissa at Insider573 Magazine through the ringer on our phone interview after the Farmington Book Signing. I’m pretty sure she’s still trying to clean my vomit out of her phone receiver.
In the mean time, I read articles like this: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/15/us/in-bookstore-chains-display-space-is-for-sale.html
…and just shake my head. No one has any guarantees in this business or any other. All I can do is try to sharpen my mental acuity and will away my double chin with yoga and the power of my mind. My formidable powers as WAITRESS will just have to come in handy. And worse case scenario, I can always help serve coffee in the Borders coffee shop. But only to the patrons who buy the book first.