We were in Edina’s Barnes and Noble, so I couldn’t scream, even a happy scream. So I jumped up and down and pointed. There was my book, Little Rock Girl, on a special display with other kids nonfiction. Okay, it was on the bottom row, but it was there. Face out, too.
This was a rare moment, because B & N rarely buys, let alone features, work-for-hire books from companies whose market is schools and libraries. (I repeated this tidbit multiple times to my almost-husband.)
Immediately, though a terrifying scene flashed in my mind.
Scene: Mavis enters a bookstore and finds the last of the series on a clearance table. She refuses to believe it. She takes out a pen and starts signing the books. The teen clerk tries to stop her, tells her these books are going back to the publisher, the store hopes it’ll get some reimbursement because they don’t sell, and sales rep is telling stores this series is done.
“I’m the author!” Mavis shouts. “People want books signed by the author!”
The clerk wrestles the books away from her. “The publishing house won’t take them back if they’re marked!”
An angry and heartbroken Mavis leaves the store. (I think she steals a book or two.)
Back and B & N, I nervously told the clerk I’m the author. She’s gracious and wished me the best in my career.
I expected “Please sign the book. People want books signed by the author.”
Since she didn’t ask, I offered — hesitantly and with a voice that said don’t worry about it; you’re probably too busy.
But she was excited. She took me to a table, handed me a pen, and shows me where to sign. I thought, it’s a Sharpie – she’s not going to erase it after I leave!
I signed the books and asked my fella to take photos.
Mavis had a point, because my clerk finally said, “People want books signed by the author.” She put stickers on the cover that say “autographed.” She added, “It makes the book extra special.”
Later, at lunch, I have to stare at the menu so I don’t make eye contact with the server. No need to shout, “I just autographed my book at Barnes and Noble and if we leave a really big tip, will you go buy it?”
Lit geek? Me? Absolutely.