Taking on a new career hawking books
When I was 8 years old, I had a lemonade stand. It’s the only time I met the commercial public face to face. Now I’m back again in the hammer and tong world of commerce. This time it’s hawking “The Inside Story.”
On Monday, I called on Shelby’s Book Shoppe. “We’ve met before,” the proprietor said. We did meet, but it was such a brief meeting that I immediately jump into why I’m there. “What are the chances of having a ‘meet the author’ event?” “Ron in the past year and a half people have shied away from ‘meet the author’ events. At one event three people showed up, at another, no one showed up. But the Browser’s Corner in Carson City would be a good place to call. However, I will buy two books from you,” she says.” I’m pleasantly stunned. I just sold 2 books! This is easier than selling lemonade!
I have a premonition; “Why not stop at the Douglas County Senior Center?”
The parking lot is full when I arrive; good sign. I find my way to the Young at Heart Gift Shop. There I meet two of the most attentive ladies, Gloria Grant and Marilyn Houston. I pose the question, ‘is there a possibility of including my book in the gift shop?’ I show them the book, and within seconds I am filling out a legal form, sign an agreement and the book is price-tagged and sitting on one of the display tables.
Marilyn demands to be heard; “Ron, you can display up to four items at one time, so bring in three more copies.” This is a good thing, because on the front cover is the title and a recent picture and on the back cover is an exciting dance shot of me looking as if I’m leaping over the moon. Front cover and back cover-side by side will be pure catnip.
Another day, another ploy. I drive 52 miles to the Hunewill Guest Ranch in Bridgeport. When I walk into the office/gift shop, Betsy Hunewill says, “I heard you were coming,” and lassos me with one of her happy smiles. She then explains the procedure for leaving books on consignment. Minutes later I stroll out of the office, with a check for five books in hand. All in all, I now have nine books out on consignment and a purchase promise of two books from Shelby.
Putting a book together is a labor-some process. It is also highly gratifying, and it takes the cooperation and good will of many people. It is a piece of myself.
The 24 personal encounters with people have enhanced my confidence in human beings. The 12 segments of my early years as a dancer in Hollywood and Manhattan reveal the underbelly of life in the world of entertainment. I guarantee you will smile if you read it, and nothing will please me more than to sign your copy.
Ron Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org