Sold an “I Will Keep You Alive” to my former secretary.
Swapped a “Schiz” to a lawyer/poet in exchange for his new collection.
Sold an “IWKYA,” a “Best Ride,” and a “Most Outrageous” to a lawyer from Sacramento who comes to the café when he is in town visiting his grandchildren. He is originally from Philly and, after buying a “Cheesesteak” for himself, bought five to send to friends. (I would have sold him a “Schiz” too, but I hadn’t put another in my bag since selling one to to Wayne. See: “Adventures in Marketing: Week 164A”)
Another morning a fellow was giving all my books a favorable once-over, but I couldn’t engage him in scintillating patter because I was occupied by Knut. I knew of Knut – and he of me – because he had occupied Adele similarly when she had taken a stab at selling our book in a different café several weeks earlier.
Knut, a thirtyish, Norwegian-born snowboarder and real estate developer, had been excited to meet Adele – and now me – because he too had suffered serious bodily injury. Eighteen months before he had fallen at Alpine, suffering a concussion, his third. Whereas, one might say, my injuries had left with no sequelae any more peculiar – or obvious – than sitting in cafes selling books I had written, Knut’s had left him with the inability to stop talking. His conversation was friendly, bright, engaging – and unceasing.
On and on he went. On and on and on. About meeting Adele. About the cover of our book. About the flyer announcing our upcoming reading. Analyzing the text: “Alive” and “Romance” and “Doing Everything Right.” He explained concussions: the physical mechanics; the neurological aspects; the brain rattling back and forth within the skull. He reported on the concussion-sufferers support group he had walked out of because he was so much more fortunate than the woman upon whom the air conditioning unit had fallen.
Much of this I already knew from Adele. I also knew that, no matter how long he talked, he would not buy a book.
Nevertheless, I thought, Compassion. Reduce suffering.
I also thought that, if he came to the reading and raised his hand, I would not call upon him for a question – and whatever that brought with it – unless he showed me a receipt as proof of purchase..
In other news…
1.) I’ve basically sold out of “The Schiz” and have ordered a box from its distributor. (I’m also almost out of “Outlaws, Rebels…” and have been buying used copies on-line to sell as “previously owned.”)
2.) We’ve printed out flyers announcing our Books, Inc. reading. [AUTHOR’S NOTE: August 6, 7:00 PM, 1491 Shattuck, Berkeley.] I’ve posted one at the café and left a few on a table at the health club. I’ve also handed some out. The first person said, “I’m teaching a class that night. Maybe my wife will come.” The second said, “I’ll be on the east coast.” The third said, “‘A Cardiovascular Romance.’ I love Romance Novels.”
3. I have also received free advice. One person said I should punch up the copy. “I died twice; yet here I am,” he suggested. The second said we should focus on the “we” of the group, not the “I” of us. The key words, he said, were “sharing,” “relationship,” “spirit,” and “love.” I said we had most of that covered.
[FURTHER AUTHOR’S NOTE: All of Bob’s books – even the pre-owned ones – are available from this very website.]