I have been to plenty of booksignings at which no one bought a single book. Or at which one person bought one book. I've been the guest at teacher appreciation nights that were underattended. The organizer at one Barnes & Noble felt her store had been rejected by the schools in her community. The bookseller at the other store just didn't know what else she could do to get teachers to turn out. I met a writer last spring who did a signing at a store in his own town. Not a soul showed up, and he went home.
As a reader, I might know why those kinds of things happen.
Right now, as I'm writing these words, Stephenie Meyer is speaking at R. J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut. The family obligation I had this evening fell through so I could go. But then...
I was gone for 5 hours today accompanying an older relative for a medical test and running errands;
Tomorrow I'll be gone another 3 or 4 hours in the late afternoon and perhaps into the evening;
Another family member will be out both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings;
We're supposed to be leaving on Saturday for a vacation that hasn't been planned yet except for some motel reservations;
I would have had to drive an hour each way to get to the bookstore where Stephenie Meyer will be speaking.
So, I am home blogging instead.
When people have a lot of things to do, elective activities get cut. Movie attendance is down. Theaters and ballet companies are suffering. And authors sit by themselves in bookstores.
Authors only go to booksignings at stores in order to sell books. If readers don't have the time or the energy to get to the stores when the authors are there, then we just need to find some other way to get the books and the readers together.
I know. That's what everybody says.
By the way, I'm guessing Stephenie Meyer won't miss me. She ought to bring out a few people who didn't have to get up early to drive someone to a medical office.