This weekend, I worked as a cashier for our local library book sale. This is no cunning publicity stunt as I have done it for years. I especially enjoy Friends Night Only when dealers and collectors pay in advance to feed like sharks on the first offerings. What they drag out of there is astounding - two cartons of stereopticon photos, the entire cookbook and crafts section swept into boxes without even looking at the tiles, heaps of hardcover Nora Roberts, James Patterson or other favorite author's books, and a single copy touting the use of human waste to fertilize your garden.
I did take the occasion to talk with old friends and regulars at the sale and handed out postcards containing order information for my two new books, Mardi Gras Madness and Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball, for those who showed an interest. Give these things out wholesale, and they only end up in the wastecan or the gutter. I may make some sales from this effort. Hard to say. But, I was there for hours anyhow, so why not?
Of course, I also had to face the fact one day my own books would show up marked fifty cents on the paperback tables. Since my first book, Goals for a Sinner, has been out two years and reached 5,000 sales, I sort of expected copies to show up last year, but no. This year, however, the first three resales occured-all to me. Yes, I gathered them up and plan to resell them slightly marked up because I know the fate of leftover paperbacks at the end of the sale - the dumpster. I am not so well-known that anyone is "collecting" my work. My prose is not deathless, merely entertaining. I live in a fairly conservative small town where some folks still whisper that Miss Lynn is now writing dirty books, which just shows they haven't read them as mine rate only three flames our of five on most review sites. Still, friends and family bought my first work despite the hunky, half-naked football player on the cover.
Since all of the locally sold copies were autographed, I do know who discarded them, but no hard feelings. One did not appear to have been read at all, while another was definitely thumbed to the very last page. The third had an inscription I remember doing very well since the purchaser asked me to declare her my very best friend though we are barely acquainted. Hey, anything for a sale. I hope to find new homes and readers for them. As of October, I have five books in print, three in the Sinners series and now the new Mardi Gras books. Next year finding and saving my babies will be more of a challenge.