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FYE & Don’s Atomic Comics: Long Day, Big Success!

April 8, 2007

Today was grueling, but overwhelmingly positive!  I woke up at eight (because I’m neurotic like that when I have a big day ahead), left the house at ten thirty for the FYE Hamburg book promotion and got there a half hour early.  Store Manager Greg Baumgartner had a swank leather chair and a cherry spot right in the front of the store set up along with some great signage and posters for the book advertising the event.  I was a little frustrated to find out that there was an afternoon Sabres game (I don’t follow hockey unless I’m in a bar), but I brought my A game regardless and talked up last minute Easter shoppers regardless.  After settling in to my spot early and merchandising my books for maximum visibility, I talked up the random people who got sucked in by the book cover and started racking up some sales.  I met a nice woman with a family who lived in Toronto and wrote erotica.  She and her husband bought three copies of Clean Up After Me, I’m Irish.  I met another nice woman from Binghamton who bought a hardcover copy of If They Can’t Take A Joke for her husband, who loved humor collections.  I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years who scooped up one of the remaining copies of First Person, Last Straw.  And there were others.  Four hours came and went and I racked up over a hundred dollars in commissions, which isn’t too shabby.  The afternoon was a total success, and for big box store promotions, I would rather meet total strangers and get to know them so that they can read the book and tell their friends in other towns and countries than run into existing fans.  I was really pleased.  I can’t thank Greg and the staff at FYE enough for their support and their genuine hard work that went into making the in store promotion such a huge success.  The store will be ordering additional copies of the book once it hits Ingram as well as Baker and Taylor, so I’m going to try and stop back for another event in either late May or June.

After going home and recharging the batteries by sacking out for a half and hour, Lindsay and I took cans back and I invested some of my royalties towards picking up beer for the Tom’s Atomic Kegger 2 promotion at Don’s Atomic Comics in Lancaster.  Three cases of beer and two eight packs of Guinness, to be precise.  It’s a tax deduction, so I didn’t sweat the expense.  I got a receipt and headed out to Don’s before seven pm.  Friends, fans, and thirsty patrons started shambling in after seven o’clock and began racking up the book sales.  Some of my fans picked up some comics at the store for the first time and a lot of Don’s fans plunked down their hard earned cash for various copies of the book.  We all had beer.  And more beer.  Don, Ian, Brad and I cracked jokes, played lude and lascivious music and talked a lot of smack among each other.  I got to meet John Kindelen (sp?), another contributor for the YourHub project.  I’ve read his work and I knew he was a big comic fan, so it was nice to know that he shopped at Don’s as well.  Don kept track of the book sales.  By the end of the night, I made over three hundred dollars in sales on the new book along with the previous two.  I turned around and dropped a hundred or more on a new Batman limited edition sculpture and some comics.  We closed shop a little before twelve and agreed that this was the best Don’s Atomic promotion we’ve ever had for one of my books.  Don, Ian, and the rest of the crew at Don’s Atomic are like family to me and this is why I try to run a promo at Don’s shop every time I’ve got a book out.  Thanks again, guys.  For all the ribbing we inflict, it means a lot to me.

I don’t know if it’s the book cover, the momentum or the all around effort, but the new book is really taking off.  I’ve honestly sold more books in a week than I did in a month with the last collection.  Maybe I’m just due.  Don tells me it’s my best book yet.  Whatever it is, it’s reassuring that I don’t have to worry as much about recouping costs and I can focus more on bringing new readers into the fold while keeping my original base of fans happy at the same time.  I may not enjoy actively promoting year round, but it’s a comfort to schedule the bulk of my events with longstanding contacts that I have an ongoing relationship with.  It makes things a lot easier and I know what I’m getting. 

If the coming weeks are as succesful as this one, then the next book will be paid for before I start hashing out the details.  It’s already written, but I don’t even want to think about it right now.   All I can think about is the vacation I’m taking in May, the month of sleep I’m going to desperately need after this is over with, and the mountain of comics that I’m looking forward to having the time to read.  In the mean time, Happy Easter to everyone who isn’t working in the morning.   Mainly, people who aren’t me. 

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