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Adventures of an Indie Bookseller, Chapter 2.

Hey everyone,
I work at a fun indie bookstore in California.
I’ll be sharing some fun stuff that happens when I work,
just in case you’re curious
as to what life is like
on the side that sells books :)

Date worked: October 2, 2016
Hours: from 6-9
Note: Special event with fantasy author Anne Bishop.
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The store closed at 4 and reopened at 6,
for the event starting at seven.
People were waiting outside the door
with BAGS of books to get signed.
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A man and woman came up to buy a book.
The man was carrying a huge bag of books
and gestured at the woman.

“I’m her pack mule,” he said.
After he bought the book he added,
“Do not let her come up here and buy a puppet.”
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A mother wandered in with her probably 2 year old son
in his stroller.
“If you touch everything, you don’t get your special treat.”

It’s sort of our fault really.
We put things at kid-in-stroller level.
When they got up to the counter,
she put two little toys down to buy.
I am happy to report the boy got them and did NOT touch anything
on the way out.
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A woman bought the new OTIS book,
and we JUST SO HAPPENED to have matching stickers.
This is amazing because we get TONS of little book promos
and tons of stickers.
We have a drawer of them.
This is the first time in my working career
that I’ve ever been able to find the matching one for a book.
I was very proud of myself.

A few minutes later the woman came back up and asked for another sticker.
I gave her some from CLICK CLACK BOO,
proud again that I could find something at least seasonally related.
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ARC scores:
None this time because I’m working through all the arcs I already have.
Books bought:
These three in a middle grade series that’s a bit dark and a bit…grimm.
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Inktober is upon us,
and I thought what better way to celebrate
then post a picture of a drawing each day?
Well, a drawing from the walls of our store!
Authors and illustrators write and draw on the walls
when they come visit.

I snapped pictures of ones I loved,
and each staff member took me around to their favorite ones.
Look for them all throughout this month!
Hint for authors and illustrators who visit our store:
write your name so I can read it!
If I don’t know who did the art, I won’t post it.
Of course maybe you just have a recognizable style,
then you’re all set.
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A co-worker and I got to talk about
Kung-Pow Chicken,
which is just about the cutest early reader ever.
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A bookseller from another bookstore came for the event,
and I recognized her, since I’ve been to her bookstore a lot.
We chatted all things book before the event
and after while she waited in the signing line.

It’s all a community with indie booksellers!
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The author, Anne Bishop, was awesome.
A few things:

She told the audience they had to howl if they wanted her
to read some of her new book to them.
They immediately did, no questions asked.
(I did not know but her books do feature werewolves!)

She works her friends into her books.
She said she sent out an email to her friends asking if
she could use their names in her books,
and if so, they had to be prepared.
There was no guarantee that they would be human,
or wouldn’t get eaten or die.
She said all the men gave her permission
to kill them off as gruesomely as she wanted to.

She’s got a writing schedule and other favorite authors.
She writes from Saturday through Wednesday,
and loves the work of
Patricia Briggs,
Louise Penny,
and Craig Johnson.

She’s got a mantra.
“Suck it up, sit down, and do it.”

She’s got a fall back plan if fear starts to take over.
She talked about the Five Minute Whine.
You first need to find someone you can whine to.
When you feel like you’ve written the worst possible thing ever,
call up your friend.

You get exactly five minutes to whine about your work as much as you want,
and to say all the horrible things that will happen if you put this work out into the world.  After the five minutes you get the reality check and your friend talks you down. Eventually you will get to the point where you can talk yourself down, because you will recognize how ridiculous your own fears are.

She has the final word on fear.
“The fears are always there. you just have to understand that it’s part of the process. You’re always pushing the boundry and you’re never quite sure if you are going to hit the mark.
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Someone came ALL THE WAY FROM ISRAEL
to meet her.
Talk about a super fan!
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Everyone in the signing line was awesome.
Anne spent time with each person,
and had a rule that she would only sign two books at a time,
then you had to get back in line.
This was so no one would have to wait too long,
and it felt like a reunion when someone
went back up to get more books signed.

It’s so awesome to see authors and their fans interacting.
That’s one of my favorite parts about working events.
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I’m obviously a huge fan of indie bookstores.
I hope that this little sneak peek behind the scenes
will inspire you to visit one!

See you next time!
KE

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