If I think about this much longer, I'm certain my head will explode. It concerns a certain major store, prominent throughout the United States, and Canada. We will call it StallMart, just to give it a name. I think it was called Mega-Lo-Mart in "King of the Hill," which I always enjoyed.
The folks at StallMart were nice enough to arrange a booksigning for Borrowed Light last Saturday in Price, Utah, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The first sign of trouble happened the Thursday before the signing, when I dropped by the store to just make sure there were enough books on hand, since none of them seemed to be on the shelf in the LDS Book section.
When two assistant managers showed up to answer my questions, they told me that the main guy was out of town all week. When I asked about the books, neither man seemed to have the slightest idea what I was talking about. Oops. One of them thought there might be some books arriving on Friday, and he wandered off to find out. I left then, went home, and e-mailed Emily Showgren, the trusty PR lady at Cedar Fort. She promptly contacted the WalMart buyer, who said that 75 books would be delivered the next day.
When I checked on Friday, sure enough, there were books available. None were on the shelf, though. Maybe that was a new concept. I put up an "Author Signing" poster on an easel which Dave kindly located, and left it in the Customer Service section. And when I showed up at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, there was a table and chair inside the front entrance, near the bananas and the GloDomes, whatever they are. It was a good spot.
I think I signed between 25-30 books, and was OK, considering that there was a parade in downtown Price at noon that kept some potential buyers busy elsewhere. No matter. I was happy enough. (Didn't sell any GloDomes, though.)
On Monday in water aerobics, Mayzell mentioned that she had stopped by earlier that morning at StallMart to buy Borrowed Light off the shef, but there weren't any. She asked about it, then went back later, and found one, which I signed the next morning.
Wondering myself now, I stopped by Tuesday to see if there were any copies of Borrowed Light on the shelf. I figured there must have been at least 30 left over from the booksigning, so surely some would be on the shelf. Nothing (and don't call me Shirley). I checked with yet-another assistant manager, who had no idea. He did say there would be books on the shelf. When my daughter stopped in StallMart that evening, she couldn't find any.
I was in StallMart this morning to get some veggies, and went back to the book section just to see. Nothing. When I got home, I called the store and asked to speak to someone who knew something about the book section. She sent me to "Electronics." The lady who answered there didn't know anything. When I explained the situation, she said they had nothing to do with books. I suggested that some human had to put the books on the shelf, and she grudgingly agreed. I told her the name of the book and the author, and she asked me to spell them. I spelled Borrowed and Light, and then she asked me if maybe the book was in the Horror section. I told her I sincerely hoped not, because it should have been shelved under LDS Books.
Here's all I can figure: Either Borrowed Light is selling like hotcakes and they can't keep them on the shelf, or no one has a clue at StallMart and only puts out one or two at a time, as the mood directs. I'm realistic enough to think it's probably the latter.
Ah, well. There's a booksigning at the new Seagull Books in Springville on Saturday, March 26, and one in Cardston, Alberta, on April 2, and I have high hopes for both. Randy Prete at the Book Shop in Cardston has already been in touch with me for a bio, so he can put it in an initial e-mail sent to all bookstore patrons. He's right on top of everything, and I'm grateful. There will be a Deseret Book signing at the DB store on South University in Provo on April 9. Maybe I'll have someone take a photo of me there so I can give a copy to the assistant managers at Price's StallMart and show them that the book exists.
I shoulda been a plumber.