Whew. Day 3 of writing another blog post recap.
I gotta say, it's kinda nice knowing that I'm not just shouting these recaps into the void. Thanks for the emails, guys and gals, and for urging me to write about the last few days of my book tour.
Before we delve into the book tour 3 recap though, guess who signed up for the 2015 LA Times Festival of Books yesterday?
I haven't been before, but it sounds like quite the event...as in the largest 2-day book selling festival in the U.S. Pretty sweet, eh? If my Hoosier fans check out the Festival's website, you'll see another familiar Indy author who attended last year. Some upstart named John Green.
I dunno. I hear he's kind of a big deal. ;)
Anyway, the festival is April 18-19, 2015, so mark your calendars if you live in the L.A. area. It's held at USC's campus and admission is free.
Onto the recap!
Saturday, Dec. 6th
This day was my quickest turnaround. I hadn't finished the last evening's tour stop in Fishers until after 10 p.m. By the time I arrived back at Mom & Dad's, took inventory, replied to a few emails for the upcoming tour dates, and hit the sack it was around 2 a.m. Couple that with the hour and a half drive to Bloomington and needing to arrive by 9:30 a.m., I was one tired puppy.
I had barely gotten the first Salt books unloaded when a man introduced himself. He and I talked for about an hour after I learned he is an avid traveler and that his son went to Ball State around the same time I did! Crazy small world, huh? I thought it a fantastic way to kick off the day after he and his wife bought a couple books and left me to finish setting up my display.
Then things slowed to a crawl. Haha.
I don't mean that negatively of the store or the staff. They literally did everything they could to send walk-in traffic my way. They made announcements, suggested to passersby they should check out my books, and even wrote about my event on the chalkboard near the register to remind customers. So again, the employees rocked!
Fortunately, I had some familiar faces show up. My friend, Emily, from our Telecommunication/News Journalism days at Ball State came to see me and pick up a copy of Salem's Vengeance. We used to partner up for class projects and I figured the investigative part of her I remembered would enjoy Salem's, even if the battle scenes didn't. It was awesome to see her and crazy when I think it's been almost ten years since I saw her last.
Later, another Ball Stater and fellow RA came to visit me with her family. Alex has been incredibly supportive ever since I've known her and it was nice to finally meet her husband and two daughters. Her youngest is the same age as my daughter, so it made this guy a little homesick to get back to Cali and see my Little Miss. The other awesome thing about Alex is she's also an avid reader and recommended Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. Guess what I'll be checking out over the Christmas holiday? ;)
My most interesting moment of the morning though will probably take you by surprise. I learned that, unlike trade shows or festivals, standing by my table didn't garner my books any attention at the store. So what's a guy to do? I stepped away and hung out in the thriller section, thinking anyone who might happen down the aisle was at least interested in that genre and might enjoy Salem's.
Lo and behold, an older guy, (who I'll call Bob), saw my visitorless table and thumbed through a couple of my books. I slowly approached (didn't want to scare 'em off).
Bob looked at me. "What's all this?" he asked.
"These are my books." I extended my hand to shake Bob's. "I'm Aaron Galvin."
Bob takes a firm grip on my hand. His forehead wrinkles. "You wrote these?"
Bob jerks me forward, (and simultaneously past him), and claps me hard on the back. "Good for you."
Then he walked away, leaving me in stitches at the message he'd just sent me.
I swear to you I couldn't help but laugh because it reminded me of something my character Bishop in Salem's Vengeance would do.
Bob had perfectly summed up what the other customers in the store that day did nonverbally. I ain't interested, you little whipper-snapper. Don't try to sell me.
Call me crazy, but I loved it.
After saying goodbye to Bob and thanking the staff for their kindness, I was back on the road and headed to the Half Price Books in Avon.
Again, I was impressed walking in at the flyers they had posted and how kind the staff was. My mentions of posting flyers might seem trivial to some of you reading this. I continue to bring up that point and be thankful because on my last tour, I didn't see a single flyer posted at the bookstores I attended. It's the little things that matter and I felt immediately welcome at every Half Price Books store I entered because of those posters.
Another thing I loved is the manager asked me where I'd like to set up.
"I can set up anywhere?" I asked.
I still credit this placement to the reason I sold the most books (10) to new reader/walk-in traffic of all the Half Price Books locations that hosted me. Unfortunately, it also led to a customer accidentally knocking my poster down and shattering the cheap wooden framing. Meh. Whattaya gonna do?
Sunday, Dec. 7th
Another late night. Another early morning.
Fortunately, I had some great company. I met up with the Carey family for a pancake breakfast to kick the day off before heading to the Half Price Books store on 86th St. I figured there would be more people show up to this location since it was my last Indianapolis stop and the weather was significantly better.
Happy to say I was correct in my assumption.
I literally had just put up my poster (thanks to Dad for fixing the frame late Saturday night) when a new reader stopped by. Blake was interested in publishing as well, but had some questions I was able to answer. He also happened to be a marketing/branding strategist and blew my mind with how much I don't know. Definitely one of the many areas I need to improve on in the upcoming year.
It was such a crazy morning that I remember seeing Dad swing by the store to say hey, but I never got a chance to talk with him. I have no idea how long he was there, but I know it was awhile. The line of awesomeness was that long.
Folks, I'm a lucky, lucky man to have such a supportive group as you all have been. Here's some pics of the day, and my thanks to all those who tagged me on Facebook with them.
I had to scramble from 86th St. in order to make the two hour drive north to Ft. Wayne. I may or may not have, (but definitely did), schedule my long drive to coincide with the Colts vs. Browns game so I could listen to something that would keep me awake.
On my last tour, several people suggested I make the trip to Ft. Wayne. Happy to oblige, I was immediately met by one of the guys who used to live on my floor back at Ball State. Chris and I caught up for a good long while and were soon greeted by another resident in our dorms, Jessica. Crazy cool to catch up with them, especially since it's been so long since our Honor's Dorm days. Go Botswin!
I didn't see much walk-in traffic at this store, but again, that was no fault of the staff. They too made announcements, had posted the flyers, and even displayed all three of my books at the register. They rocked!
I was just packing up for the night when my good buddy, Dutt, from our Hoosier Boy's State days came to town. I still think it's so awesome that he and I only met each other for a week in between our junior and senior years of high school, yet he's been continually supportive of these crazy dreams of mine. Thanks again, my man. ;)
Author. Actor. Rascal.