Monday, February 17, 2014

Wall Of Spears Tour Week 2 wrap-up

My 50 Stores in 50 Days tour rolled into its second week and started to gain some real momentum.
I kicked off at Kinokuniya in the heart of Sydney, which is a fantastic store just near Town Hall.
Kino wasn't running the 3 for 2 deal but instead had 20% off all my books, which made things interesting, as then it came down to a straight shootout between the two series - would people like the idea of Empire Of Bones or Dragon Sword Histories more?
After selling out of every copy of Bridge Of Swords and The Wounded Guardian they had, I can say that people like them both!
It was a real thrill to have people come in to buy the remainder of a series and particularly for a young bloke called Kai who bought the original series plus Wall Of Spears for his grandfather Mark!
Then it was off to the Gold Coast and a tussle with the taxis!
First up was Collins Tweed Heads, where the wonderful Leanne Ellis of Bloody Cake News was waiting for me, wanting five copies of Wall Of Spears!
I sold the store out of every copy of the new series they had - everyone wanted the trilogy deal, which was great, but then the hassle started.
I rang for a taxi but couldn't get one to turn up! Instead I was stuck in a loooooooong queue of pensioners heading home with their shopping. Not good.
The whole idea of doing the Gold Coast was to use the time difference between NSW and Queensland to allow me to sell across TWO lunchtimes. Spending said lunchtime in a taxi queue was not the plan!
Next time I'll definitely be hiring a car.
Anyway, finally I got to Love That Book Helensvale, where Rebecca Ponting was waiting for me. I'd sold my original trilogy to the Pontings when they were living out at Rouse Hill. Now they were back for the new series!
After my taxi nightmare of earlier I was paranoid about missing my flight home so had to leave with just one copy of Bridge Of Swords remaining.
I checked out the shopping centre taxi rank and saw - nothing! With visions of camping out overnight dancing through my head, the lovely staff at Love That Book told me to walk across to the station and - cue flood of relief - there was a queue of taxis, not people.
Saturday saw me head down to Chatswood in the rain and hit gridlock. Everyone wants to get into Chatswood on a Saturday but there's not enough room for them. It was insane. 45 minutes to crawl about 400m through the streets and then find a parking spot.
Luckily the Dymocks store there is so good!
Steve "The Bookman" was there to buy two copies of Wall Of Spears to complete his bookshelf. If there's a more enthusiastic supporter of Aussie fantasy, I'm yet to find them. He needs to be cloned!
Plus I ran into Brandon, who had bought The Wounded Guardian from me in Canberra and now wanted to complete the series, which I was delighted to do!
Again, we sold out of all first books from two series.
Sunday was out at Parramatta, in company with my faithful warrior friend Uthred Kadarn.
We got a park easily enough (a relief after the day before) and then we got some VERY strange looks from shoppers as we walked through the shopping centre in costume!
The day started brilliantly, with Wall Of Spears the No.1 selling book in that shop. Doesn't get better than seeing that on the shelf!
We ran into so many marvellous people, including Jasmyn, who wanted to complete her Dragon Sword Histories and Andrew, who needed Wall Of Spears. Plus Mark Curnow from HarperCollins!
We posed for many, many photos - including many kids - and sold out of Bridge Of Swords, plus almost all Wounded Guardians as well.
Robin and Perry - the owners of Parramatta Dymocks - have a fantastic store and I'm not just saying that because I had their No.1 selling book!
With more than 250 books hand-sold in the first two weeks, it's going well - and now the interstates are really going to crank things up!
Hope to see you on the road somewhere on tour!

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