Thursday, February 26, 2009

Out on the Town (up the block)

Agent Kristin Nelson, author Jamie Ford & yours truly, channeling Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton & Ginger Baker (at bottom).

Jamie Ford, author of the new bestseller HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, had a reading at Denver's Tattered Cover on Tuesday evening. His agent, Kristin Nelson, hosted a reception beforehand at Encore Restaurant next door.

Naturally I was at both events, because:
  1. I consulted with Jamie last year.
  2. I am the Party Girl.
  3. I live 130 paces from the TC/Encore--didn't even have to cross the street.
More than 60 people came to the reception, then packed Jamie's reading and bought lotsa books.

Note to agents:
Host receptions for each of your authors when they do events in your hometown. It doesn't cost all that much, and is a swell way to bump up book sales (and maybe get your clients on a local bestseller list), plus have some fun. And it's all tax-deductible!

Note to authors:
You don't have to do much--if any--reading at your readings. The idea is to be entertaining. Jamie read for all of 5 minutes, spoke for 25, with the rest of the time for Q&A. And the audience ATE IT UP.

Last week I went to a "reading" by Jacqueline Winspear, out on tour for her new Maisie Dobbs mystery, AMONG THE MAD. Every seat was taken, the audience was rapt and Winspear didn't read a single word from the book. In fact, she said precious little about it, other than that there's an explosion and some of the action takes place in a madhouse. She mostly talked about World War I, its aftermath in the UK (the series begins in 1929; it's 1931 in the current book) and about her grandfather, a veteran of the Battle of the Somme who was picking shrapnel out of his legs into his seventies.


Blair said...

So true, Bella, about bookstore events! As I read somewhere, attendees want "an experience" (of you and your story) but not a whole lot of literal reading from the book. I'm lucky that I have an obvious alternative to weave in: playing my accordion, accompanied by my fiddler husband. It feels like a little roadshow, in some ways, but it's been a lot of fun, this first month out with Accordion Dreams. Attendance and onsite sales have been decent, too, according to the bookstore folks. Now on to Dallas in a few weeks, then Louisiana in Apri!

Bella Stander said...

You are so right about the "experience." Been meaning to check in with you. Very glad things are going well!

Sustenance Scout said...

Great photo, Bella! Sounds like a terrific event; wish I could've made it. Did enjoy lunch today with other LLLers. Happy trails! K.

Julie Butcher-Fedynich said...

Thanks so much for the picture. I do love to see what things are like, and how they work