Thursday, September 6, 2012
Hot and cold in Canberra!
Canberra … without a doubt it is the perfect place for authors. The residents are almost universally educated, appreciative of authors and with enough money to indulge their love of reading.
I always enjoy going down to Canberra and have always done well there. This time was no different.
Sadly, this time I would not be travelling around Canberra with trusted HarperCollins rep Jodi Callas, who had been a victim of the reorganisation of the sales rep structure.
This meant I was going to have find my own way around Canberra … something to strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned traveller!
So naturally I bit the bullet and bought a GPS unit. Now, ever since one of them tried to kill us both by ordering me to chuck a U-turn on a six-lane Brisbane highway, I have distrusted the things. I specifically asked the salesman at my local Hardly Normal store to show me the least idiotic one.
So, naturally the bloody thing got me lost in Goulburn, refusing to recognise the biggest shopping centre in this major country town!
Once I made it to Town & Country Books in Goulburn, with a little over-the-phone directional help from the friendly staff, things got cracking.
The highway now bypasses Goulburn but, if you are an author, make sure you stop there. Friendly people, delighted to meet an author and excited to buy books not just for themselves but as gifts for friends and family.
I had a great morning there before heading into the car, crossing the fingers and aiming for Dymocks Tuggeranong.
I arrived a little late – but it didn’t matter. Canberrans love their books and, that afternoon, they loved buying my books! I had some loyal fans such as Becky Dykhoff come out specially but just as many people buy from me from the first time.
When you’re doing a bookstore appearance, you need to have the mental attitude that anyone could be a book-lover. That isn’t the case usually but in Canberra it’s more true than anywhere else.
So I set a new personal record in a single appearance.
Friday was another freezing day in Canberra, but bright and sunny nonetheless.
First up was Dymocks Belconnen and again it was just pure pleasure speaking to the people there. Even better, Bridge Of Swords was sitting at number eight on their bestseller list, which is always a huge thrill. I planned to take a picture and tweet/Facebook it but was too busy to do so!
Again I had some local fans come along but the bulk were brand new … and always such a pleasure to talk to.
One woman and her son, who didn’t buy a book, were still a real highlight. The boy was recovering from a serious illness and had used books to get him through. Chatting with him and explaining how being an author is all about dealing with rejection, about picking yourself up and pushing forwards.
ABC 666, the local Canberra station, called me in for a quick interview, which managed to skilfully avoid any publicity about my books …!
Then it was Dymocks Central, where I was visited by some friendly faces – Jess Drake and fellow HarperCollins author Katie KJ Taylor. She’s always great value and was able to sell her trilogy to oe lady as well!
It was a bit quieter at Central but still a great way to finish off another Canberra adventure, where I managed to avoid getting TOO lost!