Today a Borders in Connecticut kindly hosted me as part of Educator Appreciation Week. I had written it down on my calendar as Educator Awareness Week.
"Hey, you're a teacher! I've heard about you people!" And I was planning to lead my short talk with that joke-like statement, but I ended up cutting it. And the rest of the talk. Because there was no audience.
As many authors will tell you, these things happen. And in retrospect, they make for great entries in books.
I did an Educator Appreciation Week event at Borders in 2005, and attendance then was fairly brisk. But it was also opening day. Plus I think there were cookies. Today, the rain boded well, but apparently this was one of the last days of the event. Also, no cookies. While teachers did show up, not enough at any one time to do my presentation.
Still, I did manage to sell a few copies of the two books I was there to introduce (Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day and Quick Nonfiction Writing Activities that Really Work). Plus I also brought over the store's copies of Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman and sold a few of those, too. That wasn't my plan, but the books just so happened to be face out on a shelf in the line of sight behind the table they'd set up for me. You can't expect an author to disregard that.
The highlight, however, did not have to do with my own books. I was talking to 4th grade teacher whose young son rushed up holding Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex. The boy was so excited that I blurted out that I am friends with the author-illustrator and could ask if he'd send a signed bookplate. I assured Mike, and consider this notice for other author friends, that I won't make a habit of that. Probably.