Things have been a bit busy here this week - I'm not sure what I accomplished but blogging hasn't been one of them. I have managed to get every book order out the door so if you ordered from me:
a) Thanks so much! I appreciate selling the books myself - it helps us out.
b) Your book is on its way to you so keep checking your mailbox.
Next week, we are hosting a rather large Thanksgiving party. For the first time in at least 20 years, all of my sisters and me and my mom will be together for the holiday. With them comes, a new boyfriend with his three children, a new husband, and all the regulars (two sisters and spouses with 5 children plus us). Okay - this is forcing me to count - twenty people in that tiny little dining room. Time for some creativity. Needless to say, it's about time to change the "book shipping room" back into a dining room for a few days.
Today I had a meeting at a Barnes and Noble store in the middle of Massachusetts. I was totally overjoyed to see that my book was finally in the store. It was on a top shelf and there were four copies. You're probably wondering why this should matter but to an author it does. It means that B&N bought a lot of books and liked it enough to actually buy more than one per store. It also means that they asked the publisher if they would pay for a top shelf promotion (yes, you heard it, pay!) and they had enough faith in the book to say yes.
As a book lover, collector, and knitter, it's hard to think about how cut-throat the book business really is. But that is the honest truth - any book out on a table or in multiple copies on a shelf means that the publisher had to pay something for that space - like grocery store placement. As an author, it gives me a better chance of selling some books so that's nice.
I must admit that as an author, I have rearranged those shelves around once in a while. It must drive the staff crazy but you know, you've got to look out for number one. Who is going to dig through all those shelves to find one little eensy copy of Colorful Stitchery or Knitting for Baby? Probably noone - but if I stick it up top, maybe someone will buy it. I'm sure those books get moved back to the bottom shelves rather quickly but I think it is a game all authors play.
The indepedent yarnstore or bookstore is a different thing - those shopowners work so hard as do their employees. They handsell a lot of books. If I can get into a yarnstore for a signing, I can usually sell about 10 to 20 books and everyone is happy. More than 20 and everyone is ecstatic. It's not feasible for me logistically to do too many signings but last weekend's at Woolcott was lots of fun.
I saw lots of old friends. Here I am with Alice (new owner of Be Bop), Cynthia (former owner of Woolcott), and my friend Cathy Payson.
I met some new ones too - This is "Sean from Woolcott" with Linda Pratt from Westminster Fibers and me. By the way, Sean also stocks my Julia yarn for anyone looking for specific colors in eastern Massachusetts.
Penn lost the game but my enormous family descended on the store after the game. Here's my mom, Cathy Payson, Julia and I outside the store. We had a fun meal at the Border Cafe after, a true Harvard Square institution.
Thanks to Sean for putting on the signing. It was so much fun to meet so many nice, enthusiastic knitters. I can't wait to see what they do with the ideas they find in the book.