I sold five books. One at the café to someone with whom I chat. Two to people to whom I’d sent notices (one lawyer, one basketball pal). Two as gifts to former Philadelphians from a college buddy.
I have heard from slightly more than half the people I sent copies and slightly more than one-fifth the people I sent notices (and half these bought copies). I sent additional group e-mails to high school classmates and lawyers at a chat room who had neither received previous copies or notices, for a total of zero responses.
Readers have responded with “amusing,” “enjoyable,” an easy read,” “moving.” One thanked me for “capturing… the essence of adolescent experience” and another its “issues, fears and hopes.” One reader commented on my sister’s death and one on my mention of Little Walter. People who have observed me at a café have nodded, smiled, asked if I was “selling something” and if it was my “office.” One woman said, “Very cool.”
Another self-publishing author suggested we share a table at a local book festival — but all tables were already gone. Another person suggested I sell at the local farmers market — but book sellers are not allowed there. On the plus side, after several attempts, I managed to install an app on my Iphone so I can take credit cards.
The fellow in Philly who promised to send me his book did. It’s a coffee table-sized volume, richly illustrated, from Temple University Press, so I can out way ahead there. And I’ve entered into correspondence with the owner of Jim’s Steaks, on South Street, which, I’ve learned, has different ownership than the Jim’s on 62nd, or the Jim’s in the Northeast, or the one in Springfield.