"When something goes right,
well, it's likely to lose me.
It's apt to confuse me,
it's such an unusual sight.
I can't get used to something so right."
The song popped up for me as I was flying home from the Turks and Caicos and thinking back on the trip, which included the best sales ever of Fish-Eye Lens. I took 30 books with me and sold all 30.
Yes, 24 were a pre-sale to Ocean Club, a Provo resort. That left six, which the resort allowed me to sell and sign at its Cabana Bar and Grille. They were gone within three hours and two G&Ts.
Obviously, that's not many when you consider the huge sales of a Cussler or Cornwell. But until then, the most I'd sold at a single event (excepting my book launch party, which had free wine) was four. Usually, it's one or two. Sometimes it's been nothing.
So I am left wondering what it was I did right.
Some things I can rule out. It wasn't my Island Trivia game ($1 off for a correct answer), which I've offered before. And my chatter and description of the book doesn't change much from event to event.
Other theories quickly develop holes. When my tables at Richmond bookstores were dead, I thought that perhaps I needed a beach vacation setting. But in two days at Outer Banks bookstores I sold just two books.
I thought that perhaps more nontraditional venues like festivals would be better than bookstores. They are, but not always.
My publisher believes that having a program or talk generates more sales than merely sitting at a table. But at Ocean Club, that's just what I did. Next theory.
Is it better in the Turks and Caicos merely because the book's setting is based on North Caicos? And does it say something that sales go better when both I and my potential customer are holding alcoholic drinks?
Oh, my. This could be dangerous. If the book sells better to people who are actually at the beach (beyond the East Coast) and drinking is required...
Well, ta-ta and cheers!