Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

About a month ago I girded my loins and approached a few book-store managers about stocking my book. I asked at two stores, and even though the face-to-face response was very positive (they asked if I wanted to do a signing--uh, no!! I know some authors dream of their first book signing, but I'm more of the hermit-in-a-cave type writer). Thing is, my nerves just weren't up to asking at other stores.

Fast forward to last night.

Authors are known to do stuff like auto-Google ourselves, check our Amazon rankings, etc. So last night I indulge in this peculiar authorial madness by searching for Felicity Stripped Bare through the Chapters.Indigo inventory Store Lookup; not really expecting to see anything. Figured the bookstore managers I'd spoken to were just being polite.

But one store (Indigo Spirit in the Royal Bank Plaza) ordered in 20 copies!!! Twenty! Do I have visions of 20 peeps making a mad dash to grab my book off the shelf? No. No I do not. I'm imagining 19 returns and a change of pen name for the next book.

Insanity. It's not required in an author, but it sure does help.
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raine said...

I'm with you on the hermit thing (unfortunately)--but YAY on the positive response at the bookstores!
And watch those 20 copies sell out, baby. ;)

azteclady said...


If there's any justice in the world, you'll sell those 20 copies in a jiffy. Felicity more than deserves it!

vanessa jaye said...

Thanks guys. I didn't mean to come off whiny. I know that many authors aren't fortunate enough to see their book in print never mind physically on a shelf in the bookstore.

I also know I'm not La Nora. :-P

The good news is, a coworker, who went and bought a copy, got into a conversation with the store manager who asked her to ask me if I would sign the books on the shelf anyway since I wasn't up to doing a formal signing.**

That's low-key enough for me! :-D

Plus i think that's an indication that she doesn't intend to return the books. (I hope.)

**sorry for the Frankenstine sentence.

vanessa jaye said...

Sqeeee!! I just noticed an email from the second book-store manager (didn't get a chance all day to check my email I've been so freakin busy!) Anywhoo... the gist of the email is she is/will be ordering copies of Felicity for her store!! & she'd like me to sign the copies for the shelf when they come in, if I'm still not up to doing an in-store signing.

raine said...

Ahem. :D

azteclady said...

Color me very happy but not surprised.


vanessa jaye said...

calmer now.

coworkers (including male) started reading *dirty bits* out loud from one coworker's copy. Much laughter ensues.

cringing now.

two coworkers decide to get their own copy after the "reading" (& much giggling).

friends says cover is a bit "porny", then corrects hereelf and says "racy".

My boss, Treasurer of company, asks if I picked the title/cover art myself. (while his eyebrows are raised so high they almost touch his hairline)

wincing now.

checked store's online inventory again.

crazy now/again/still.

5 books sold at store between yesterday and today. (yaay!!)

Went in to sign books. Cashier said 3 books on hold behind counter.

rest of books split between shelf (lowest one) & front of the store "Hot & New" table display.... right beside a stack of Nora's Tribute. :-D

Friend ordered book to pick up at store near her home (outside city) & was told there are copies already coming in.

She ordered anyway because they could guarantee 1 week delievery on the order, but didn't know when the stock enroute would arrive.

happy now.

& working on revisions for wip now. :-)

I'll shut up about this now. I'll never have a first time again, but all this is par for the course, right? Thanks for listening.

azteclady said...

Well, please do not shut up on my account. It's great to share in your first time *waggling eyebrows* like this.

vanessa jaye said...

"Well, please do not shut up on my account."

Since you twisted my arm... heh. Seriously, I don't want to become obnoxious.

But here's the lastest news! *g*

As of today, the book is in 3 more Chapters-Indigo downtown stores (Eaton Center, World's Biggest Bookstore and the Bay&Bloor locations).

I passed 3 vps (all guys) at reception. One of them congratulated me on my book and said he was going to buy it for his wife! The other 2 congratulated also, then later on one of them emailed me and asked me to send him the link for the book at the chapters.indigo website. *gulp* I sent him the info, but told him he couldn't read it for fear of corrupting his delicate sensibilities. After viewing the link he emailed me back and asked if he and another vp (male) were in the book. ::snort::

Kat said...

I was hoping to upload a picture and send it to you but the Barnes and Nobles here is SOLD OUT of Felicity Stripped Bare...

I figured that was almost just as good :::grin:::

Anonymous said...

I'm so damn proud and happy for you, Jaq. I must check out Chapters and see if I can get a pic of Felicity on the shelf (getting my thrills vicariously). Joyce :)

vanessa jaye said...

Kat, seriously?! :-D (But to keep my squeeing to dull roar I'm going to bear in mind that they probably only stocked 1 copy. heh)

Thanks for telling me though, it put a smile on my face (and I can take a break from compulsively checking the inventory at Indigo.Chapters online*g*)

azteclady said...



vanessa jaye said...

Joyce, how did I miss your post?! (Folks, Joyce is one of my kickbutt crit partners).

vanessa jaye said...

A.L!! thanks for putting up with my squeeing. :-P

Joyce i just sent you an email.

vanessa jaye said...

The Continuing Saga of Crazy Author Behaviour:

Was still checking Chapters.Indigo online inventory (Toronto area only) daily. Book is now in 7 area stores (!!!)

But found out that just because it's showing in inventory doesn't mean it's out on the shelves.

A friend went into a store close by her home and couldn't find it on the shelf. She asked the clerk and they said it was still in the back.

::space in time in which 2 sets of eyes meet to make 4 creating reality void::

'Well, can you get it? I want to buy it,' my friend finally says.


Then I few days later I happened to be near that same store and popped in. There were no copies on the shelf, but copies still showing in the store inventory. Luckily the store manager and a sales clerk working that day were very nice, they found the stock and let me sign them.

Then there was the day where, in a 24hr period, one store showed 2 books sold, returned the next day, then 2 sold later that afternoon.


Or could have been a computer glitch.

Either way, between these two incidents I've seen the futility of tracking inventory online and am now cured of the habit.

::straight face::

vanessa jaye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vanessa jaye said...

Store watch update (for Royal Bank location):

I can't help it, but I'd feel horrible if the store manager couldn't move all that stock she ordered in.

So far 10 copies have sold, thank goodness!

Anxiety is now scaled back from 'nosebleed' to merely 'high'.

Not making myself crazy about the other stores, cause I'm not even sure it's actually on the shelf and not in the backroom for half of them.

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