Sand at BEA: The Line
I was scheduled to sign and give away copies of Sand in My Bra in the traditional autographing area in Kentia Hall from 12:00 - 12:30pm. Most authors get a half an hour and they let us know ahead of time that we could have more time on either end of that.
Well, let me tell you, we needed it!
I waited in the Green Room back stage with Susan's daughter, Alex Brady, and Deborah who had kindly volunteered to photograph for us. While we were there we saw a soap star from General Hospital, Jane Seymour from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (who was in the same booth just before me), and Ray Bradbury who was going to sign at the same time next to me.
At 11:45 Alex went out to get the table ready, and five minutes later I peeked through the curtains. Nobody was there. Alex said I could come out and as I took my chair a few women came up and I signed a couple of books. That's cool, I thought seeing no one in line, it's not really our scheduled time yet. And as soon as I finished my thought, way down the aisle at the other end of the room a guy in an official looking blazer waved his hand at me.
"Are you ready?"
I smiled and replied that I was. He opened the gate and a flood of people poured in down the aisle.
"Oh, there's the line!"
Alex passed me the books turned to the title page and I signed them with a quick message of travel encouragement.
The line stayed the length of the full aisle for a good 45-50 minutes, with more pouring in till we stopped at 1pm, well over our alotted time. Ray Bradbury had come and gone, as well as the guy signing on my right.
Lots of booksellers, librarians, some media including a woman who does a magazine for up and coming stars, and another who specializes in Oregon media, and a few looky loos who just wanted a free book and didn't really know what it was. Of all the people in line, I was most impressed with the men. There were more than a handful of men that had stood in line to get the book for their wives and girlfriends just because they thought she'd like it. That, I thought, is love.
Speaking of love, Larry was loving the line when he showed up over halfway through.
The biggest compliment came from the people that turned up to the Travelers' Tales booth on Sunday. I was out sick, but they had come back because the event staff had cut off my line and they didn't get a copy. They returned again and again hoping that I was at the booth and could sign their copy. Susan gave them free ones, and I'm sorry I missed them.
Apparently, even though I could only see the people standing directly in front of me, I had the second biggest line in the whole autographing area during that hour. The only one with a few more people was Chicken Soup for the NASCAR soul.
The book got a great debut showing at BEA, and we are enthused to do whatever we can to increase sales. The next reprint shipment arrives June 5.