by Jackie King
One of the last independent book stores in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area is THE BOOK PLACE in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This charming reader-haven is owned and operated by Janice Riker and her family. Janice sells both new and used books, and she discounts her new books by 15%.
|Broken Arrow Oklahoma Independent Book Store|
Saturday, June 21, 2014 a large group of area writers gathered for a book signing to celebrate Riker’s 20 years of success. This success is largely due to the warm and friendly atmosphere. And most especially, CHARM! Janice involves her whole family in running the place: her amiable husband, beautiful daughter and delightful grandson (aged 4).
Yes, yes, I know I just used too many adjectives. But I had such fun at their celebration and open house. We were there from 1pm until 5pm. I was sure this was too long for my patience and/or energy, and planned to leave about 3:00. What I didn’t count on was the fun I was going to have.
There’s nothing so delightful as talking about books, your own and other writer’s. Usually people’s eyes start to glaze over after about 15 minutes of this sort of chatting. Non-readers have a very low threshold of patience with glowing chatter about make-believe people whose company you enjoyed. Reader’s understand. And enjoy along with you.
|2nd Book in my Series|
Do most writers make a lot of money when they take a whole afternoon at a signing? No. At least not usually. Most of us make our money these days selling ebooks. What we gain at signings is personal contact with our readers. Many of the folk who dropped by my table had already downloaded my book(s) and told me so.
But I got to meet them! I got to put a face to a nameless number. And that’s both fun and helpful. These people articulate what they liked and disliked about my books. Writing is something you have to do all by yourself. And I don’t mind that, but still, in order to create, I need to interact with people. (I just love people. All sorts of people. Don’t you?)
Signings are one of the few times I get to chat with other writers. To exchange ideas, learn of new developments in publishing, and talk of story ideas. This can be done online too, but there’s something magical about personal bonding. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones.
|First Book my my series|
There was a whole table of young writers whom I had never met. These bright newcomers had formed their own horror-genre writing group. How cool is that? My granddaughter. Lauren Keithley, a film student at University of Texas dropped by and got acquainted with them. Some of her studies the previous year had included horror films.
Independent bookstores rock! If you have a favorite bookstore, I’d love to know about it.