Or, Gulp, How Am I Going to Sell 50 Books???
My friends from middle school and high school, Sasha and Sophia, met me for coffee at Barnes & Noble on Friday. Sophia is an English teacher in San Francisco, and I haven’t seen her in a few years, so it was great to get together. Sophia and Sasha insisted on seeing if A Prophecy Forgotten was in the store, so they dragged me to the customer service desk to ask. I felt quite self-conscious about being an author and asking for a copy of my own book (especially because I was wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt from my night of cleaning office buildings), so I kept quiet. “They just received fifty copies,” said the customer service rep. My heart almost came to a complete stop. 50 copies for my May 4th book signing?
(Just an FYI on the publishing industry: Bookstores actually function as consignment shops. They can return any book they buy within a three month period of time, and they usually will return all of those books that aren’t A-List that don’t sell in three months. Returned books look bad in the bookstore computers. I want to look good to the Barnes & Noble computers--like an author with a great sell through. Therefore, I want a 100% sell through for my first book signing, but 75% will be acceptable. That means that by May 4th (well, actually, I’ve got until three months from Friday…), I have to get at least 38 people into Barnes & Noble to buy A Prophecy Forgotten. This is going to be fun, to say the least.)
But on with the story because it’s actually kind of funny. We went searching for A Prophecy Forgotten, but couldn’t find it. We finally asked a very nice man with an employee tag where it was. Again, I kept quiet, feeling foolish. The man said he would check receiving. After about ten minutes of checking receiving, he returned holding 5 copies of A Prophecy Forgotten. Sophia and Sasha each took a copy, and he turned away from us to put the book on the shelves.
About ten steps later, he opened the book and began flipping through it. His eyes fell on the book flap where my picture is prominently displayed. He stopped immediately, turned to us, and pointed at me. I gave him a little laugh. He walked back to us and said, “You’re supposed to tell me you’re the author!”
My face turned hot—extremely hot—and I started laughing. “I was embarrassed,” I tried to explain. I stuck out my hand and said, “Hi, I’m M. B. Weston.” He shook it, and we had a good laugh over it. Still, the only thing I could think about was how red my face must be and how the concealer I’ve been using to hide my acne always shows when my face turns red. He’s staring at my concealer, I kept thinking, which is utter nonsense because no man is going to notice that kind of thing. Aren’t we women funny in how we think sometimes?
Once he left, Sophia, Sasha, and I took pictures by the bookshelves, and then the purchased my book. We allowed Sophia the opportunity to make the first purchase. It’s kind of nice. My best friends have all gotten the first purchase of A Prophecy Forgotten in some way. My other friend, Jill, made the first purchase from me directly—my first sale. Sasha was the first to purchase it off Amazon.com. And Sophia got to buy the first book in the bookstore. It was a perfect night really, except for my face turning red and exposing my concealer
For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at http://www.elysianchronicles.com.