Monday, July 19, 2010

The Big July - Adelaide

My last trip away for this amazing month of selling books was to Adelaide.
My main reason for going down there was A+R Edwardstown, which has been a great supporter my books and so I was keen to support them back.
I was being met by HC rep Anthony down there, who would look after me for the first day, then Graeme would take over for day two.
I was a little nervous, as they had warned me it was not like Sydney but at the same time I was confident I could make a good impression.
After all, this is not just about selling books. It is about meeting sales staff and getting the stores enthused about you, bringing your books out from the pack.
It was grey and drizzly as I flew in and headed out to A+R Westlakes, a combined book store and newsagency in a big shopping centre.
My fears were unfounded as I sold 21 books in the two hours there and chatted to some great people ... strangely enough both Anthony, myself and store manager Bradley had the same style of close-trimmed beard - make of that what you will!
A+R Edwardstown was next, an older centre but the store I was down here to see.
They were just as nice in person as they were on the Net, with Tarran and owner Jo snapping endless pictures of me!
After a slow start I kicked into gear and sold 22 books for them. A pair of spruikers were trying to sell exercise equipment just across the aisle from me - that was to happen a few times in Adelaide and I even tried to sell them some books (without success). Still, I thought, if I can sell to a spruiker ...!
I checked into my hotel, The Medina Grand, which used to be the old SA Treasury Department building. It was stunning - 15-foot-high ceilings, real old-world charm and in the heart of the city. I grabbed a early dinner in the Chinatown before heading out for Thursday night shopping at A+R Marion.
This was a tough gig, my toughest of the day. Not only was my voice really starting to break up but everyone was in a rush and very reluctant to stop and talk!
`MasterChef is on!' one exclaimed as she tore past me.
Still, I sold 17 books, aided by the manager, who loved the books and even persuaded one customer not to buy the fantasy book she had selected but to get mine!
Anthony, my fantastic guide for the day, dropped me back at the hotel for green tea, a hot bath and the hope that my voice would hold up tomorrow...
Graeme picked me up from the hotel at 9am ... only of course we waited for five minutes for each other at different entrances!
First up was Elizabeth, a working-class suburb on the outskirts of Adelaide, famously home to Jimmy Barnes at one point.
Like Campbelltown or Penrith, I had high hopes for Elizabeth, even though Graeme was sounding a note of caution.
But it went great - I sold 25 books and spoke to some amazing people. I even set a new record for myself, personalising WG for four women, who were going to share it and read it - still my highest number!
There were a few curious sights there as well.
I saw one bloke with the most magnificent mullet. A burnished gold colour, it was truly a thing of beauty. Fluffed up at the front, spiked on top, falling to a glorious length below his shoulder blades. I asked him if he liked reading but he answered `No!' and of course, I should have thought a little more before opening my mouth.
Maintaining and preening that amazing hair style would take all his time and, probably, spare cash. A hobby like that would leave no time for reading, sadly ...
Next stop was A+R Tea Tree, where I had a woman waiting for me, entire trilogy at the ready for me to sign.
It doesn't start much better than that and, despite the noise around me, including the centre's desire for piped music at a level just short of deafening, I sold 34 books and again spoke to some marvellous people.
The one sad thing about this massive, whirlwind tour, is that some of these people begin to blur in my mind. I come away from an appearance thinking those people were just lovely ... and then struggle to remember them all.
Last stop was Borders Adelaide, where they'd had to take down the big display of my books because too many were being sold! They only had a handful of books left when I arrived and I sold them out pretty quickly, to finish my Adelaide trip.
Luckily I caught up with Peter Cooper there - a Facebook friend who is about to become a published author himself. After corresponding by Facebook, it was nice to see the man in person!
Adelaide was a wonderful two days - great people, lovely stores and a fantastic pair of guides in Anthony and Graeme.
I like to think I brought a little good luck down with me as well - the Adelaide Crows defeated the rampaging title favourites Geelong that Friday night, as I was flying out!


  1. Haha, everyone knows I (Tarran) am deadly with a camera :) I am glad you had a great time here in Adelaide!! It was a pleasure to see you in person.

    I have posted a link to your page on our blog so people can read your updates!!

  2. Hi Duncan, My name is Ben and i was at one of your tour in Adelaide down and borders at the city(the Asian guy). as you or may not remember me, i end up buying the first of your trilogy to have a go at reading. I must say, i would not classified my self as a heavy reader, it would take me about a 3-4 weeks on average to finish reading 1 book of about 600-100 pages. however i cannot stop my self from reading your book.

    I my self am age 19, never started reading any real fiction unless it was for school hence i have never read a fiction novel since i was in year 10 until recently this year my friend got me into fantasy books.

    I have read many review on different books that i wanted to read however there is always something i am after. for example i want the protagonist to be male, and for some reason i always want be romance involve in a fantasy book along with many many other things i look in a book before i start reading, maybe that y i find it hard to find a good book to read... until i started reading the wounded guardian.

    i found the main character Martil was such an interesting man with all the problem he faced along with the queen and the little girl. i want to say more but i dont want this comments to have any spoilers on it ^^.

    It was such an intriguing story line which keeps me reading it the moment im in bed and i cannot stop until i can barely able to keep my eye open.

    any way to i think im writing to much now and my grammar is bad so ill wrap it up as it is 2am in the morning here in Adelaide and iv just finish reading your first book. This is SUCH an awesome which i only spent 6 day to read the first book, and in the morning im going to go buy the next two book. my only regret is that i didnt buy all 3 of them and got you to sign them for me (T.T) but i am still glad i picked it up. And THANK YOU so much for writing such an interesting story. i cannot wait till you release more books.

    kind regards


  3. Hey Ben, we still have signed copies if your interested in making a trip down to Edwardstown!

  4. Sorry Ben, we just ran out of signed copies :(

  5. Hi Ben,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post those lovely comments ... it makes me feel fantastic to know that you're not really into reading but were gripped by The Wounded Guardian! I'm so glad you enjoyed them and I most certainly will keep reading!