My folks are snowbirds, wintering waaaay down south before making the trip back to the thawing tundra of Canada in the spring. This year’s migration will take a little longer as they are going to be stopping along the way at every bookstore they can find (and that will fit their massive RV rig into the parking lot). They’ve already tried a few with a great deal of success. The approach is low key – my father asks to speak to the manager, begins by referencing the many titles that I’ve edited that are already in the store, shows the manager the ARC (Advance Reading Copy) for A Darkness Forged in Fire and based on the response offers to have Pocket mail an ARC. My mother waits in the truck with the engine running, just in case something goes down and dad has to book (ah, the puns, the puns!)
Thus far, this is win-win-win. My parents are thrilled to help and take immense pride in my accomplishments (my brother’s too, but he can get his own blog, I’m not sharing 🙂 Most individual stores don’t get ARCs so this gives them a little bit of a leg up and a chance to impress customers with their ‘you heard it hear first’ scoop, and whatever helps sell more books is a good thing. It helps the publisher too in creating word of mouth and what’s known as hand-selling. The personal touch is worth its weight in gold. None of this, of course, replaces the cold hard fact that people have to actually like the book, but if they do, there’s going to be a strip of North America running south to north that will know a little more about my first stab at writerdom.