Emma and I finally rolled in from our road trip at about 8:30 on Thursday evening. We spent Wednesday in Gander, signing books at the Bookworm in the Gander Mall and reading at the Gander Library, then, after a little crisis precipitated by the loss of Emma’s favourite pink hat (and its subsequent recovery), we hit the road for Trinity. At Trinity I did a reading at a great little coffee/gift-shop called the Trinity Mercantile, where the patrons were all tourists, including Roberta from Brooklyn, who was thrilled to find a book about Brooklyn in Newfoundland!
I’m not at the level of writerly fame where my biggest problem on a book tour is dealing with the huge crowds of people all pressing into see me. Instead, I’m more likely to worry about things like “Will anyone show up for my reading?” and, “Will anyone stop by to buy a book?”
Sitting at my little table in the Gander Mall, I thought, this is really a pretty tough way to promote your work. First of all, you’re dealing with the group of people in Gander (or any town) who like to read. Then, the subset of those people who would like to read this particular book — a historical novel about Newfoundlanders in Brooklyn. Then, the subset of those people who happen to be in the mall this afternoon. And within that tiny group, I’m looking for those who have both the leisure time to stop and look at a book display, and the disposable income to spend $20 on a book they hadn’t planned to buy.
Looking at it that way, it’s a miracle anyone ever stops to buy a book!
Not only did some people stop, but I met loads of nice people, had great conversations, talked with people who had already read the book and loved it, and talked to more people who were so glad to have heard about it because they knew they would love it. End result: people in Corner Brook, Gander and Trinity, who might not have known about By the Rivers of Brooklyn, now have copies in their hands, and may just tell their friends about it.
Plus, lots of good road trip time with my wonderful daughter. Win-win. We’re glad to be home though.
With the road trip finished and the current round of signings done, I’m shifting from writing-promoting-book mode into mom/Pathfinder-leader-going-to-Camporee-and-then-on-vacation mode (though I will be signing copies of Esther: Courage to Stand at Camporee, so the book promotion side never really ends). Any new updates related to By the Rivers of Brooklyn will always be posted at the book’s website.