Posts Tagged ‘book signings’

Porterfield to Speak at AOS Program in January

December 20, 2019

Railroad dining car historian Jim Porterfield will speak about the history and recipes of America’s golden age of railroad cuisine on Jan. 15 at the Age of Steam Roundhouse in Sugarcreek.

The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. and feature slides and items on display, including menus and the five items you will likely find in a home kitchen that originated in a dining car.

Porterfield is the author of Dining By Rail: The History and Recipes of America’s Golden Age of Railroad Cuisine, which described how railroad dining practices evolved into restaurants on wheels.

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a book signing.

Sanders to Appear at B&N Author Event

November 15, 2017

Akron Railroad Club President Craig Sanders will be participating in a local author exhibition on Saturday at the Barnes & Noble book store in Akron.

Sanders, whose book Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, was recently released by Fonthill Media, will be among 11 authors who will sign their books and discuss their work with B&N customers.

The authors will appear at tables on the upper level of the store located at 4015 Medina Road in the Fairlawn-Montrose area.

The B&N store has set up a Facebook page about the event: www.facebook.com/bnfairlawn

Other authors and their books scheduled to be at the event are: Louise Richards, A Christmas Story a Day; Wes Locher, Unit 44; Anita Fox, Bobby’s Journeys…; Kristen Lepionka, The Last Place You Look; Mike & Janice Olszewski, Cleveland Radio Tales; Dave Bair, The Lasso; Carmen Williams, FitOverIt and That Too; Robert J. Roman, Ohio State Football: The Forgotten Dawn; Brendan Bowers, LeBron James vs The NBA; and Irv Korman, Antuan was Hear.

For 2 Hours I Outsold a NYT Bestseller

November 11, 2017

I’m sitting at a black square table just inside the front door of a Barnes & Noble book store in suburban Cleveland engaging in a ritual familiar to many authors. On the table is a stack of 19 copies of my latest book Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.

I’m a niche author and not many people are interested in railroad history. Therefore I don’t have high hopes about selling all of those books.

Directly in front of me is a table piled high with books labeled “new releases.” One of them has an orange cover that catches my attention. Titled The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, I’m hoping the book by Mark Manson won’t be a summary of how my book signing will go.

The railroad about which I wrote is known in Cleveland and last year carried a record 214,063 passengers.

Anyone who has visited the Cuyahoga Valley National Park probably has seen and/or ridden on a CVSR train. I’m hoping that that might help sell a few books.

A few people mentioned having ridden on the CVSR with some saying they had ridden several times. But they didn’t buy my book. Not today at least.

Twelve minutes into my book signing, a guy walked in, spotted me and immediately came over. In a matter of minutes he bought two of my books, one for himself and another for a friend.

I felt much better because at least I had made a sale. But he was more the exception than the rule.

As I expected, most who came into the store had little to no interest in me or my book. They walked past as though I didn’t exist, not making eye contact or saying hello. They were not subtle in not giving a . . . well you know.

This is my eighth railroad history book and I learned a long time ago how these book signings are often about learning the art of humility.

What I experienced at B&N I’ve also experienced at events filled with railroad enthusiasts. That was tough to take at first, but it comes with the territory.

The afternoon wore on and I made a few more sales. I had interesting conversations with a few folks. Interactions such as these make book signings worth doing even when sales success is modest.

One woman said she had seen a poster advertising my signing and came in to get my book, buying two copies.

There were some near-misses in which people expressed interest but didn’t buy. Maybe later.

A woman pointed at my table and said to her daughter, “look, there’s an author. He wrote a book. Isn’t that great! Maybe someday you’ll write one, too.”

The girl never looked my way, but I understood. Preschoolers have short attention spans.

I had plenty of time to keep an eye on those new releases, the Christmas-themed table to my right and the magazine racks slightly to my left. High on the walls were posters for such classics as Walden, The Maltese Falcon and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I wondered how many people come into bookstores and buy those books just to read them and not because the title is on a school reading list.

It was getting late. My publisher had said the signing was to be for two hours, but I stayed a half-hour longer.

As I was packing up my fliers and business cards while getting ready to leave, a B&N employee asked me to sign the unsold books. She placed a “signed by the author” sticker on each as soon as I finished signing. Sometimes that helps sell a book.

I don’t recall anyone even looking at Mark Manson’s book, but I might have missed it. He will sell far more copies of his book then I’ll sell of mine. It has been, after all, on The New York Times bestseller list.

I’ll never have Mark’s level of success, but for two hours on one afternoon in one store I outsold him.