Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bridge Of Swords tour wraps up

After five weeks of full-time touring, plus another three weeks of part-time touring, the Bridge Of Swords promotional tour, which I dubbed Save Our Bookstores, is finally over.

Time to get back to work, time to finish off a couple of tweaks on Valley Of Shields for HarperCollins and time to get cracking again on Wall Of Spears.

The last weekend went well - first up was Infinitas at Parramatta, a different sort of appearance because it was down to people coming in specially to see me. Thanks to all who did, thanks to Tim and thanks to Meredith and also Guy, two people who had just dropped into the store anyway but ended up buying all four of my books and getting them signed!

Up the road to Dymocks Castle Hill and we swiftly sold out of Wounded Guardians, while racking up the sales of Bridge Of Swords. It didn't begin that well, as Castle Towers has one of the craziest carparks I have battled. I thought Miranda Fair was maddening but it has nothing on Castle Towers. Apparently modelled on a Dungeons & Dragons floorplan, it seems to defy the laws of logic and, quite probably, space and time. I finally found a carspace and hit the store almost 30 minutes late.

Nevertheless, I met some wonderful people and sold a bunch of books.

The very last store on the tour was Dymocks Charlestown. This is a huge shopping centre in Newcastle, absolutely packed with people and the Dymocks there is a new expansion store, after NSW's second city lost almost all its bookstores in the A+R collapse.

Sadly the store is in a dodgy location, stuck in a little backwater and surrounded by health fund shopfronts. The owners, Uday and Anita, are lovely people and it's a fantastic, family-run store. But the area was DEAD. I ended up bellowing at people on escalators in the hope of dragging a few in.

We sold out of Wounded Guardians (yet again) but it was a little bit of a disappointing way to finish, on several levels. Not only because I didn't sell many books but more so because this is a store that needs help, in an area that needs more bookstores.

I can only hope more Novocastrians discover their new Dymocks.

Looking back on the tour overall, it's clear that the Canberra/Goulburn leg was by far the most successful in terms of sales, while the greatest pleasure was meeting so many people and introducing myself to new stores.

Receiving emails, Twitter messages and messages on Facebook from people who bought from me, loved the books and took the time and effort to tell me so is wonderful.

Making the Dymocks Fantasy Bestseller List, as well as individual store Bestseller Lists from one end of the country to another was a huge highlight.

It's a great foundation for book two.

So, I've talked the talk, it's up to Bridge Of Swords to walk the walk and sell itself, through word of mouth.

Meanwhile I can gather the energy for next April school holidays, when I'll hit the road once more with Valley Of Shields.

Let me know if there's a store near you that needs visiting!

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