I had two book signings this weekend: one Saturday at Yorkdale Indigo and one Sunday at the Eatons Centre indigo. Saturday’s signing was a learning experience because, for the first time since our very first signing at The Village Butcher, we didn’t bring food.

All the previous book signings we’ve brought samples, usually maple tarts and bison burgers. This required a larger outlay of money, and with the bison burgers Suman needed to bring an assistant to help heat and assemble them. So yesterday we decided to try the no-food approach, because it’s sometimes hard to justify paying $50-$100 on food, when we only get $1.30 each in royalties for each book sold.

Our average so far is to sell roughly half of the on-hand copies of the book. So if we started the signing with 50 copies, there are around 25 copies left when we sit down to sign the remaining copies. Having food is very useful because it’s a way to draw people over to our table, get them talking, and let the know how tasty the food in the book is. Yesterday, with no food in the offing, we only sold 3 books, our smallest number yet. We even had one person insist that we should have food, and said that he would come to our Sunday signing and buy a book if we had food (he didn’t). So the public has, literally, spoken; today there will be food.

Another interesting thing that happened at Saturday’s signing. About halfway through the event, a man walked up to our table. He walked right up to us with purpose, instead of veering over in response to my greeting, like most people. He walked right up to me and said, “I heard there’s a book signing. Is this the book signing?”

“Yes,” I said. “This is our book signing.”

“Who’s doing the book signing?”

“Well, we are. This is me,” and I pointed to my name on the book cover, “and this is my co-author,” and I point to Suman’s name, and then to Suman himself, who is standing slightly off from the table, talking with someone.

“Are you on Food Network?”

Right at this moment, I new where this would go. “No,” I answered honestly, although for a brief moment I considered lying and saying “Yes”. If he has to ask, clearly he doesn’t know everyone on Food Network. But aside from the fact that lying is wrong, there would probably be a bunch of follow up questions, like “What’s your show?” that would very quickly call me out. So I answered honestly, and the man turned and walked away without another word. Not even trying to find some way of winding the conversation down or even finding out more about the book itself to see if it was something he would be interested in. I hadn’t had the chance to give him my speil describing the book and the awards it’s won. He just turned and walked away, as if he had never started this conversation in the first place. Some people and their priorities!

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