Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Book Signing

No, it's not mine. One would have to have a book published to have a book signing, and I haven't.

I went to Wal-Mart on Monday, after work, to pick up some file folders for my writing filing. The parking lot was more full than I would have expected at a little after 6 PM. Actually, traffic was awful, in every direction. All the roads I either drove on or crossed to get from the office to Wal-Mart were jammed in each direction. And the gas pumps at Murphy Oil outside the Supercenter were jammed as well, despite the fact that gas had gone up from $1.419 to $1.559. Perhaps many feared additional increases. But I prate.

Inside Wal-Mart, I encountered a good sized crowd. I saw a line of people in the main aisle between clothing and office supplies, kitchen stuff, etc. The line looked like one of those special lines they have the day after Christmas, for everyone to return the things they received but didn't want. But then I remembered this wasn't after Christmas but after Thanksgiving. And then I noticed everyone had one or two books in their hands. When I walked by the line I could see the books were all Growing Up Country. I diverted to the head of the line and saw this was written by Charlie Daniels, of the country singing group Alabama, and that Mr. Daniels was to sign books from 6 PM to 8 PM. I checked the time: 6:15 PM, and the signer's chair was empty. Mr. Daniels was obviously running late. How long before the hundred or so people in line became irate?

Book signings are something I have not daydreamed, or even dreamed, about. If I am ever published, book signings will obvious come into my life. Most authors describe them as boring times, more waiting for people to come by the table than actual signing. Two hours for a handful of books. Mr. Daniels' celebrity status made things different for him. And this explains why publishers will publish books by celebrities. I guess Daniels is actually more of an editor of this book than a writer, for he has gathered together "a slight collection of essays from 59 self-described 'country folk'". Probably he has writing of his own sprinkled through the book.

More power to Charlie Daniels, I say. People want to hear from celebrities; they buy their books; publishers oblige. It's the system.


Anonymous said...

Gas was down to $1.42? We're paying 40+ cents more in RI. I guess you get it from TX and we have to import the stuff from half way around the world.


David A. Todd said...

Gas got as low here as $1.389, at Murphy with a pre-paid shopping card. In a rare event of market timing, I filled my tanks on that day--the next day it had jumped 4 cents. Also, by a rare event of timing, I was able to avoid the very highest price back when gas peaked.

Not sure why gas is higher in RI than AR. Most likely the cost of distribution, though possibly efficiency of the refining industry in each area would have something to do with it.