Thursday, September 20, 2012

Massive days in Melbourne

The last interstate stop on the Bridge Of Swords tour took me down to Melbourne, where I would be experiencing life in a Dymock-racy (so to speak) with four Dymocks stores on the list as well as a drop-in to the specialist sci-fi/fantasy store Minotaur.
This was going to be much easier than Canberra and Brisbane thanks to my friend and busing author Jason Gale, who was not only giving me a bed for the night but also driving me around from one end of Melbourne to the other.
Things didn't begin that auspiciously, with a lady at Newcastle Airport attempting to convince staff that the three bags she was carrying were in fact two and she should be allowed to board the plane with them, even though she was well over the carry-on luggage. That went so well that we were 15 minutes late out of Newcastle but, again, luckily I had some time up the sleeve before my first bookstore.
Things got easier when I met Jason at the airport and hit the city nice and quick. First up was the big CBD store on Collins St. This is downstairs, so I had position at the base of the long elevator and could snag people as they came down.
This worked really well - although they had none of the original trilogy and once again we all missed out on some sales. Still, I sold 27 copies of Bridge Of Swords in between chatting to Jason and devouring the world's most expensive toasted cheese and ham sandwich.
It's a great place to chat to people and I had a great time meeting some wonderful people, including one lady desperate to buy The Wounded Guardian! In case she hasn't yet, Dymocks Knox, Southlands and Camberwell all have copies now ...
Second on the list was Minotaur. I've been to all other specialist fantasy stores around Australia and was keen to complete the list.
Things didn't go quite so well as they weren't really expecting me and I had apparently interrupted lunch there and they only had two copies of Bridge Of Swords.
I was half-expecting Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons to appear around the corner and utter the immortal words: "Worst author visit ever!"
But it was still good to speak to the staff, to let them know a little of what my books are about so that next time things might go better ...
Last stop for the day was Dymocks Southlands, which was a nice place to finish. Good sales, great people and a chance to relax and refuel for the next day afterwards.
Friday started with a flurry - my Twitter account got hacked and I was deluged by warnings from people. In between sending messages begging people not to open any links purportedly sent by me and changing passwords, I was lacking a little focus.
Things got back on track meeting my cousin Nat, her husband Emanuel and their lovely children for coffee at Knox before arriving at Dymocks Knox.
Knox was great and the sales piled up as the people poured past. I was reluctant to go but had one more stop before flying out - Dymocks Camberwell.
This is in a curious little shopping centre on a busy road in a hip suburb but there weren't many people around.
That was a real shame because Camberwell had the best specials of any store on my books. If I'd been at the CBD store selling Bridge of Swords at $5 off and buy the original trilogy and only pay for two books ($46 vs $67) I reckon I would have sold 100.
Sadly I couldn't do much for Camberwell, as it's a lo vely store but planes wait for nobody (unless you're an angry woman with excess luggage, it seems) and I had to hit the road. Or skies.
Next day it was out to Dymocks Rouse Hill, one of my favourite places. There's something about the area and the people that just makes it so rewarding to work there.
I had a bunch of people turn up specially to see me, which is always thrilling, as well as meeting all sorts of other lovely readers. One girl, whose name was Rhiannon, had to buy Bridge Of Swords as the main female character is, of course, Rhiannon!
Three hectic days of bookstores but the best was yet to come ... on Monday the Dymocks Fntasy Bestseller List came out with the news Bridge Of Swords had cracked the top 10!
That was huge - the first series sold very well but steadily until Radiant Child leapt onto the Bestseller list. To get onto the Bestseller List with the first book of this series is fantastic and a very proud moment.
Thanks to everyone who bought it!

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