A couple weeks ago, I gave a talk to the Victoria Writers' Society in James Bay about the rollercoaster ride of publishing my first book: from conception to proposal to signing the contract to writing the first draft to editing the final draft and now my ongoing attempts to flog the beast like an old mule, with digressions into the vagaries of working with agents and publishers and copy editors and publicists.
The group had lots of great questions, some of which I even had answers for, and one of their queries was: "Do you have any books to sell tonight?"
Alas, my answer was no—still is, in fact—as I've blown through the 10 free copies I got from my publisher and have yet to order another box at my author's discount. Not wanting to miss a marketing opportunity, I made a rash, spur-of-the-moment offer: If anyone from the VWS bought a copy of Fatal Tide and wanted it autographed, I would come to her or his home and sign the book.
My response generated a laugh but so far no takers, so I've decided to extend the promise to anyone in the Greater Victoria area: If you buy a book from a local bookseller and drop me a line (email me at dleach[at]uvic.ca), I will personally cycle to your abode (or meet you downtown or on campus) and inscribe the title page with my John Hancock (at a time and date that weather and my wife both permit).
Copies should be available at the better independent bookstores in Victoria and Sidney. I know Munro's has several, Bolen Books has stocked a healthy supply, and the UVic Bookstore (who graciously hosted my launch) still has enough hardbacks left over to build an addition to the Great Wall of China.
Sorry, Internet orders don't qualify, so save your proof of purchase. You've got to do a little leg work and support the local booksellers who support local authors, and then I'll be happy to saddle up and ink my thanks in person.
IMPORTANT RULE UPDATE:
To avoid Internet pranksters sending me on wild goose pedals to non-existent addresses in Metchosin—which likely counts as "lesser" not "greater Victoria" anyway (joking, Lorna!)—I'm asking for a little verification. Book-buyers who want an authorial visit and an autograph must snap a quick digital pic of themselves holding Fatal Tide and email it to me, along with how they heard about the book, when and where they bought it, and what they think of it so far (be nice!). After that, we can set up your signing-by-cycle.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
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Brilliant! Now I can buy your book, have you pedal out to Metchosin, benefit from the activity-logging for our ActiveU team, and get you to clear the blackberries off the septic field. Fantastic! And you've given me ideas about how to market my own new book, Flirt: The Interviews. If anyone can convince Markus Naslund to kayak Juan de Fuca Strait with me, I will sign their copy of my book, which is cheaper than David's and has more colours on the cover.
For you, Lorna, I'd ride to Metchosin! In fact, I'd planned to do at least one out and back on The Goose to the Sooke Potholes this month, so if there any other potential readers out along that route, maybe I can string together a couple of stops ... although I don't remember including field-clearing in the bargain!
I'm considering moving out of Oak Bay to Port Renfrew - will that be within riding distance for you?
Alas, my outer limits are Sooke and Sidney -- anywhere I can reach off the Galloping Goose or Lochside Trails. Past Sooke, I believe the highway signs start to read: "Here be dragons."
Even then, I may have to wait for our June-uary weather to cooperate before making the long round trip to the boonies. Oak Bay residents, however, can count on twice daily deliveries. (So, buy now and buy often, before you move!)
Membership has its privileges. (Or the privileged have their memberships. I can't remember which it is.)
The second, definitely.
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