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Baton Rouge Trip Update

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sorry about no post yesterday—especially for all of you who are trying to get your number of comments up for the contest. But I was in Lafayette for most of the day with no access to the internet.

I drove down to Baton Rouge Saturday, leaving a cool, rainy Nashville at 11:45 a.m. and arriving in Baton Rouge around 9 p.m. (after a stop at Wal-Mart on my way into town) just after my grandmother returned home from their Saturday evening gospel-music service at church. She was quite surprised and remarked on the fact that she didn’t even get a chance to worry about my traveling, since she didn’t know I was coming that night. Mother’s Day surprise accomplished!

Sunday after attending church, where I got to meet several people who’ve read the book (or who’ve at least picked it up), we had dinner at her house—somewhat small by our family’s standards with only 22 people (including the 8 children). I had a lovely, relaxing afternoon with my grandmother during which we got caught up on everything, talked about the woeful state of grammar education in this country, the legacy of published authors in our family, and other topics like that. We enjoyed a quiet dinner out with my aunt and uncle and their youngest son and daughter-in-law and their child (irony: Randy & Pamela live in Nashville and I see them more often in Baton Rouge than I do in Nashville!).

Monday, I had a book signing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Simple Pleasures book store in Mandeville, LA. I figured it would be relatively quiet, since it was not only the middle of a working day but also the day after Mother’s Day. But they had really good traffic in and out of the store (they’re in a business-laden area, with a hospital just down the street) and I ended up selling seven books, which matches the best signing I had on the Michigan trip. And I signed an additional five to leave behind for the store to shelve. I also discussed the possibility of doing another signing there a couple of days before Christmas.

Tuesday, I drove over to Lafayette, arriving a few hours before the book signing that evening. I spent some time at the mall, looking for jewelry to wear to the wedding this weekend and also handing out marketing materials as I spoke with various sales people in the stores. The book signing was slow, only resulting in 2 sales (with 5 signed for the store to sell later), but I had a really good time talking with the staff at the store—and sometimes those contacts are more important than the initial sales of books at the signing.

Today was my marketing blitz day in Baton Rouge. I hit both B&Ns, Borders, BAM, and LifeWay and signed an additional 10 books at those various locations, leaving marketing materials at the second B&N (at Perkins Rowe).

So in total, I’ve already signed 29 books on this trip—and I haven’t even gotten to what should be my biggest signing event, Saturday’s Fiction Day at the LifeWay in Alexandria (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. if you’re going to be in the area!).

Now I’m at the “fun house”—my sister & bil’s house where, as soon as I finish everything I need to do online (since I couldn’t get connected to the wireless internet at my grandmother’s house today), I’ll be diving into the craziness that is a five-year-old, a six-year-old, a nine-year-old, and a thirteen-year-old, all of whom will be receiving Awanas awards at church tonight, so I’m tickled purple that I’ll get to see them do that, as I never get to participate in those types of events since I only see them a couple of times a year.

10 Comments
  1. Wednesday, May 13, 2009 7:54 pm

    So glad you’re having a good time!!! I’ll be praying for TONS of success on Saturday!!

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  2. Renee permalink
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 10:54 pm

    It sounds like you’re having a busy week! I wish there were book signings where I live but sadly there are no book stores in the 25 mile radius other than a tiny Borders Express! The closest Christian store is 45 minutes away! How have I survived this long?

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  3. Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:40 am

    How fun that you get to be there for the Awana awards! I love visiting my nieces and nephew. It’s so fun to get to go to dance class and school events and such with them when I’m visiting. Hope you have a great rest of your trip and that the booksigning this weekend goes wonderfully!

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  4. Thursday, May 14, 2009 6:01 am

    Wow – That’s quite a trip. How do you determine what’s a good “book signing turn out” verses a not so great? I’d never thought about it before, but I was surprised by the numbers you mentioned. I thought they’d be higher, but then I’ve never done a book signing so I really have no idea exactly how it works.

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  5. Thursday, May 14, 2009 7:14 am

    Quite a whirlwind weekend….you will be tired, but “good” tired. Glad you got to hang out with your “peeps” and enjoy some special times.

    I, too, got to be with my Grandmother…probably haven’t been with her on Mother’s Day in about thirty years or so (coincided with a family wedding). It was probably my last ~ she’s 103…will be 104 in August! I wrote a post about her on my blog (my third post…ever). She knew I was there, but not much interaction ~ sigh.

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  6. Thursday, May 14, 2009 7:41 am

    Hope your trip to Arlington goes well! I get frustrated when going to business fairs and traffic seems slow…but sometimes the contacts that you make help out so much later. 🙂

    Jolanthe

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  7. Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:00 am

    I’m so glad the trip is going well and that you’ve been able to sign so many books & meet so many people. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the signing Saturday goes especially well (not that I’m biased or anything, haha!!!).

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  8. Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:07 pm

    Good planning to combine a trip to visit family with book signings!

    Do you find SIG to be more popular in the South, Louisiana especially, since that’s where it’s set? Or does geography not seem to affect numbers much?

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  9. Carman Boley permalink
    Thursday, May 14, 2009 4:23 pm

    I’ll be praying for record book sales! I’m so excited to read your books. At the moment my library doesn’t have any of your books, but I have requested that they buy them.
    If you come to my area I will be sure to come see you, and buy one of your books.

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  10. Carol Collett permalink
    Friday, May 15, 2009 9:52 pm

    Busy, busy, busy. Hope you have a great time tomorrow.

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