Live from Black Friday Book Selling
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
So I’m selling my newly published book at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio for the next three days.
A disclaimer: Selling like this makes me feel uncomfortable. As I’ve said before, selling like this makes me feel like *I* am on sale. This is a memoir, a book about my life.
So I tried to take the first comment of the day in stride.
An older man, a fellow exhibitor, walked by my booth as the doors were just about to open. He sized up my book and said, “Is this a book about being a mom?”
I said, “Well, it’s a book about becoming a mom.”
He looked around my table.
“Is that all you have? Just the book?”
I know that this booth is a bit out of place. There are hardly any items on the table.
Just a small stack of books and a display of items for the gift set.
“Thank you,” I said.
“This isn’t really a reading crowd, but… good luck to you.”
Geez, Dude. Thanks for the pick-me-up.
Okay, so I’m more than a bit out of place.
I’m surrounded by far more exciting booths: a posh clothing boutique decorated with all things Parisian, a booth dripping with jewelry, and I swear to God, an Ohio State Football booth, manned by an actual Ohio State Football player (his jersey says “Cotton?”).
The doors opened at 9:00 and I debated in my head about whether or not it would be better to sit or stand.
I tried standing, looking out at the people passing by and saying hello.
Most of them didn’t want to make eye contact. Or they missed me completely as they darted to the Ohio State booth. I smiled. I said hello. I smiled. I said hello. Hello. Good morning.
Oh! Someone with a baby! Get her! Oh… she’s gone.
Look at all of them around the Ohio State booth. God, they can’t get enough of it.
No one here is going to buy this book. Look at all of them. He’s right. No one here reads…
Okay, maybe standing isn’t working. Maybe I should try the disinterested approach.
I sit down and start typing away on my computer.
At least I don’t have to be bored while I tailspin into low self-esteem.
At least there are a lot of people here. There is a steady stream of people passing by my booth.
While I’ve been writing this, a woman stopped by my table and said that she wished she would have known about this book a little sooner. Her niece just had a baby on Monday.
“Oh, really? This is actually even better for her now that she’s had the baby. This book goes all the way to the end of the first year postpartum.”
Her eyebrows lifted. She thumbed through the book as we chatted.
She eyed the price, the purchasing options. I told her that I was selling the gift set today and that if she wanted just the book she could get it on Amazon for a bit cheaper.
“I’ll think on it.”
I offered her my card and she smiled as she took it.
We said good-bye.
Oh well… I thought.
I resumed typing away on this blog post and noticed someone staring at my table.
We struck up a conversation. Her daughter is expecting a baby next April. I pitched her the book.
She bought a copy.
More to come…