I had a fantastic weekend Up North. First, I stopped at Beagle & Wolf Books and Bindery in the cool, funky town of Park Rapids MN. Even on a Friday afternoon, the store was steadily busy. Most customers were cabin dwellers picking up a good read for the weekend. But many locals also stopped in to pick up books they’d ordered earlier or find out what was new and interesting.
The staff I worked with, Mamie and Pat, were courteous, friendly, and welcoming to me. They greeted every single customer who walked in and always mentioned “the local author”. You cannot beat the service that’s possible at a small local store compared with a big box chain store like Walmart.
Then, after a pleasant overnight stay in Walker MN, I headed for the Northwoods Arts Council’s 24th Annual Art & Book Festival in the buzzing burg of Hackensack (population: 300-something). The festival is extremely well run, the weather was perfect, and the attendees were in a buying mood.
All told, I set a record for the number of books I’ve sold in one weekend. I’ve got another order from a nearby bookstore that will give me the best week of sales I’ve ever had! Nothing that will launch me onto anyone’s bestseller list, but fantastic for me.
Additionally, I’m gratified that word is getting out about my books. It seems that readers are more willing than ever to take a chance on a local or regional author. I’m proud of Straight River and Castle Danger, and I’m glad most of you who are reading this have enjoyed one or both books. I take seriously my obligation as an author to write the best books I can. I’ll always try to give you your money’s worth and not waste your time. But don’t forget, online reviews are the next best advertising for me other than word-of-mouth.