In the unlikely event you haven’t heard, we have another book signing/pawdographing coming up! Momma is in her usual frenzy to get people there so she can peddle Lina Unleashed. She has even taken to calling this event the latest stop on Lina’s world book tour, as though I were Hillary Clinton hawking What Happened. (Momma on that subject: “That book could have been two words long, Lina — I Lost.”) Trying to get the buzz going, she also refers to my book as a bestseller. (“Everyone does it, Lina — it’s called puffing!”)
Soon after we arrived in Marco this year, Momma made the trek down to the local bookstore, Sunshine Booksellers, my book and marketing materials in hand. She got the usual “call security” look when she explained to Joan, the manager, that her dog had written a book. Before Joan could even catch her breath, Momma plowed ahead, stating that she was hoping the bookstore would carry our book, and also that we would like to do a pawdographing. Joan graciously agreed to take a look and said she’d be in touch. Momma, wanting to demonstrate that she was part of the Sunshine Booksellers team, bought a cheap paperback on the way out.
Amazingly, Joan emailed Momma the next day and said she’d read part of Lina Unleashed, and that she would like to have us do a signing! Momma, over the moon, rushed down to the store to iron out the details with Joan. By the time she left, Joan had agreed that Momma would also get to do a little presentation which included a reading and Q&A. To create a pawrty atmosphere, Momma also promised to serve “Unleashed” Chardonnay (an idea she got from Uncle Chuck) and dog bone-shaped cookies. The event would be held on February 21 at 3:00p at Sunshine Booksellers.
After the excitement wore off, however, Momma began to worry that maybe she had “bitten” off more that she (or I) could “chew.” For example, just how does one actually “do” a book signing presentation? Since I was the author, was she supposed to “speak” for me? And if I speak for myself, it would be a short presentation,wouldn’t it? (Woof.)
Momma was worried on another front, too. Because she had promised Joan that she could get at least twenty people to the signing (although she barely knew twenty people in all of Florida), she was now forced to scrounge around for people to invite. Using her clout as a member of the prestigious Rules Committee in her building, she talked the manager into letting her post signs in the mail and workout rooms. He did draw the line, however, on posting them in the elevators. Apparently clout from being on the Rules Committee only goes so far.
Next, Momma dragged me to each of the other buildings in her complex, where she talked her way past locked doors and “begged” each manager to put the signs up somewhere where people would see them. I did my best to help the process along and ingratiate us to the managers by giving out face licks. If I do say so, myself, I think it did the “trick!”
It doesn’t stop there either. Momma goes nowhere without postcard sized flyers in her pocket. If anyone so much as glances at me on our walks around the Cape, she goes into her elevator speech about me and the book and the paw-dographing and gives them a flyer. She perfected that elevator speech in, well, the elevator, where she reminds people daily about the signing.
She also posted a notice on the building website (doing something of an end run around the manager) in several categories, even those that have nothing to do with books or pets or items for sale. With this in mind, Momma piped right up at the last Board meeting and instructed that “everyone should use the website as the go to place for information on all building events and communications!”
Finally she brought the ubiquitous postcards to the golf course and handed them out to the ladies at the “Wine” portion of “Nine & Wine.” Here one of the ladies is using it as a coaster. Momma was not happy.
All of her marketing bases covered, Momma has turned to pawrty prep. The wine was ordered and delivered weeks ago — I just hope there is some left. Now if Momma can just find someone to bake dog bone-shaped cookies (she has no flour or sugar or rolling pin on hand, and — let’s face it — the last ones didn’t even resemble dog bones), we’ll be set.
Lina, Pawrty Girl & Best Selling Author
Pawscript: Happy Valentine’s Day!