Yesterday I had my first ever book signing event. It was at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at the Har Mar Mall in Roseville, Minnesota. The B&N folks said if we sold 20 books that would be a huge success. We sold 77. We were delighted and so was Barnes and Noble.
The event was a blast. Like I said it was my first, and I wasn't quite sure how you do these things. We started out chatting, then someone said I should hold a Q&A, in which I think I did all right-- at least, no one who had a "Q" listened to my "A" and then said "What the hell are you talking about? That wasn't what I asked you!"
I don't know about you but I call a lack of blank stares one heck of a success.
There was only one dark cloud on my book- signing sunshine. There's no other way to say it so I'll just come right out and say it:
Vince Flynn didn't come.
Now, I know a couple of things about Vince Flynn. I know he's a best-selling author. I know he writes military thrillers. I know you can buy his books in Costco. I know he lives here in the Twin Cities.
And I know he knows exactly where the Har Mar Mall is.
How do I know this, you ask? Because he's held signing events there too. In fact that's one of the reasons I was so thrilled to be going there. I mean, maybe I'd be signing books at the very same table Vince used. I might even get to hold the same pen. Does life get any better than that?
But Vince didnt' come to the Har Mar Mall yesterday. He skipped my signing. And I think I know why.
So, an open letter to Vince Flynn.
You skipped my signing. Not only did you not buy a book; you didn't even come to hang around the edges of the crowd and snicker. "I sold a thousand books at this mall, Vigilante. You think you got what it takes? Haw haw haw."
And I know why, Vince. I know why.
You're still mad about Sugar Plum Days, aren't you?
Look. The ladies of the Altar and Rosary Society of Holy Family Catholic Church asked if they could sell my book at Sugar Plum Days last weekend. I said fine. But they added, "But don't tell Vince Flynn, okay? We're not selling his latest, and we don't want to hurt his feelings."
Well, I never wanted to hurt your feelings, Vince. But what can I say? Not every author has what it takes to crack the Sugar Plum Days market. Come on, you know that as well as I do.
I know, I know. Show me the writer who does not look to Sugar Plum Days as the Holy Grail of book marketing. I'm sorry, Vince. There was nothing I could do. Honest.
Look, I'll put in a good word for you next year. But for now. could you please just let this one go? I'd hate to run into you at the next meeting of the Twin Cities Chapter of Famous Writer Types and have you glaring at me. Bad enough you glare at me from the back of all your books.
So there it is, Vince. What do you say you show a little holiday spirit here and let bygones be bygones? And yes, I promise I'll let you know the very next time I have a signing. I'll even save you a special copy.