It’s a wrap. SIBA is done for 2012 and with it’s passing it leaves me a trade show veteran. No longer will I just get into a line of authors and follow them around because I’m not really sure where they’re going or if I am supposed to go there too. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the posted schedule, I knew what the schedule said, I just wasn’t exactly sure what it meant, and I sure as heck didn’t want to miss something that could have gotten me a little more time with the booksellers in attendance.
Let’s be real, I had a great time, I had fun with a bunch of wonderful people, and I met a lot of new friends among the other authors that I expect to last for years to come, but I didn’t leave my cancer patients, delay my schedule, and run down to Naples without my family for any of those reasons. I came down to try and convince the members of SIBA that they would make a return on their initial investment of time and effort to try and hand-sell my book and that I would do my part to be a partner with them in doing so.
I’ve pitched screenplays to Hollywood producers, handled investors, and go face to face to explain, as honestly as possible, the extent of their disease to my patients every day. Talking isn’t something that frightens me. But SIBA is a bit different than anything I’ve ever done before; it’s more like a Kung Fu movie with multiple attackers. You never know when the booksellers are going to pop up or where they’re going to come from. I know that there is some importance to badge color and everyone had a badge with their name on it, but I was never quite sure who was who, and it felt awkward to put on my reading glasses to try and figure it out. So I talked to everyone. I had done a three-minute pitch and given a t-shirt to a security guard before I realized he wasn’t a bookseller with a uniform fetish. I don’t regret it, I turned him into a walking billboard in Naples for The Uncommon Thread and maybe even gained another reader, but I don’t think he’s going to go home and order a carton of my books from Ingram whether they’re returnable or not, although I assured him repeatedly and fervently that they were.
Next time SIBA is in my back yard, New Orleans, so my only comment about that is, “Whodat….Whodat…Whodat say dey gonna sell dem books?”
See ya next year (if you invite me or not). New Orleans is just too much fun to miss, I don’t care if I’m only there as a tour guide. Maybe we can get all the booksellers Tabasco Mardi Gras beads or something so I can tell who they are a little better, but, laissez les bon temps rouler.
So, read Occupy Bourbon Street, in my little book, make yourself a list of restaurants you can’t miss, put a smile on your face, and come on down here for a good time in 2013.
Glad to have been a part of SIBA 2012,