My last trip away for this amazing month of selling books was to Adelaide.
My main reason for going down there was A+R Edwardstown, (see photos here) which has been a great supporter my books and so I was keen to support them back.
I was being met by HC rep Anthony down there, who would look after me for the first day, then Graeme would take over for day two.
I was a little nervous, as they had warned me it was not like Sydney but at the same time I was confident I could make a good impression.
After all, this is not just about selling books. It is about meeting sales staff and getting the stores enthused about you, bringing your books out from the pack.
It was grey and drizzly as I flew in and headed out to A+R Westlakes, a combined book store and newsagency in a big shopping centre.
My fears were unfounded as I sold 21 books in the two hours there and chatted to some great people … strangely enough both Anthony, myself and store manager Bradley had the same style of close-trimmed beard – make of that what you will!
A+R Edwardstown was next, an older centre but the store I was down here to see.
They were just as nice in person as they were on the Net, with Tarran and owner Jo snapping endless pictures of me!
After a slow start I kicked into gear and sold 22 books for them. A pair of spruikers were trying to sell exercise equipment just across the aisle from me – that was to happen a few times in Adelaide and I even tried to sell them some books (without success). Still, I thought, if I can sell to a spruiker …!
I checked into my hotel, The Medina Grand, which used to be the old SA Treasury Department building. It was stunning – 15-foot-high ceilings, real old-world charm and in the heart of the city. I grabbed a early dinner in the Chinatown before heading out for Thursday night shopping at A+R Marion.
This was a tough gig, my toughest of the day. Not only was my voice really starting to break up but everyone was in a rush and very reluctant to stop and talk!
`MasterChef is on!’ one exclaimed as she tore past me.
Still, I sold 17 books, aided by the manager, who loved the books and even persuaded one customer not to buy the fantasy book she had selected but to get mine!
Anthony, my fantastic guide for the day, dropped me back at the hotel for green tea, a hot bath and the hope that my voice would hold up tomorrow…
Graeme picked me up from the hotel at 9am … only of course we waited for five minutes for each other at different entrances!
First up was Elizabeth, a working-class suburb on the outskirts of Adelaide, famously home to Jimmy Barnes at one point.
Like Campbelltown or Penrith, I had high hopes for Elizabeth, even though Graeme was sounding a note of caution.
But it went great – I sold 25 books and spoke to some amazing people. I even set a new record for myself, personalising WG for four women, who were going to share it and read it – still my highest number!
There were a few curious sights there as well.
I saw one bloke with the most magnificent mullet. A burnished gold colour, it was truly a thing of beauty. Fluffed up at the front, spiked on top, falling to a glorious length below his shoulder blades. I asked him if he liked reading but he answered `No!’ and of course, I should have thought a little more before opening my mouth.
Maintaining and preening that amazing hair style would take all his time and, probably, spare cash. A hobby like that would leave no time for reading, sadly …
Next stop was A+R Tea Tree, where I had a woman waiting for me, entire trilogy at the ready for me to sign.
It doesn’t start much better than that and, despite the noise around me, including the centre’s desire for piped music at a level just short of deafening, I sold 34 books and again spoke to some marvellous people.
The one sad thing about this massive, whirlwind tour, is that some of these people begin to blur in my mind. I come away from an appearance thinking those people were just lovely … and then struggle to remember them all.
Last stop was Borders Adelaide, where they’d had to take down the big display of my books because too many were being sold! They only had a handful of books left when I arrived and I sold them out pretty quickly, to finish my Adelaide trip.
Luckily I caught up with Peter Cooper there – a Facebook friend who is about to become a published author himself. After corresponding by Facebook, it was nice to see the man in person!
Adelaide was a wonderful two days – great people, lovely stores and a fantastic pair of guides in Anthony and Graeme.
I like to think I brought a little good luck down with me as well – the Adelaide Crows defeated the rampaging title favourites Geelong that Friday night, as I was flying out!
Duncan is now back in NSW – catch him at the following locations:
Thursday July 22
11.30 A+R Roselands
4.30pm A+R Miranda
Friday July 23
11am A+R Newcastle Mall
2pm Borders Kotara
Saturday July 24
12.30pm Infinitas Parramatta
2pm Dymocks Parramatta
Sunday July 25
11am Borders Hornsby
2pm Borders Macquarie
Thursday July 29
12.30pm Galaxy Books, Sydney CBD
Read Duncan’s BIG JULY post.
Filed under: Duncan Lay |