….when this guy walked in the store. A little background first. It was almost 10pm on the evening of our biggest single event of the year so far. Playwright/pianist/national treasure Tomson Highway was performing in our theatre upstairs, and there were 120 people up there listening. (We had to turn away about 40 people at the door.) Ariel and I were sitting at the front talking, waiting for things to wind down.
The guy walked in and made one of those friendly (and insincere) comments someone makes as an opening line when they want something. I wish I could remember what it was, but it blew by me. I answered non-committally. Then this guy produced a book. (Let’s call this guy GG.)
GG: Do you have a copy of this book?
Me: (I look at it.) Uh, nope, I don’t think so.
GG: Do you want one?
Me: Are you [insert author’s name here]?
GG: Yes, I am.
Me: Yeah, we don’t really sell new books.
GG: (With a five-dollar smile) Would you sell it if it was used?
Me: Probably not. Did you publish the book yourself?
Me: Well, I assume you’ve had your launch at McNally and sold your forty copies, and they’re stocking it now. Am I right?
GG: We have the book at McNally and a number of other places in town, and we’re looking for a few more places to sell it.
Me: That’s about all you can do with it. Honestly, the people that will be most interested in it are your friends and family. If I put it on the shelf here, it just wouldn’t move. Price point and subject matter, and all that.
GG: That’s your opinion.
Me: Uh, I’m just telling you that it’s not going to move here. I’ve been doing this for twelve years. I know my store.
GG: You’re really brushing me off here, aren’t you?
Me: I’m just telling you that we don’t sell self-published books. Winnipeg is the DIY capital of Canada, and as such, the city is crawling with self-published books. Your book just isn’t anything we can sell here.
GG: You may think I’m some local guy, but I didn’t write this book in my backyard you know. I’m a trained psychologist. I’m on the radio, you know. And my book is really good, and people are going to buy it. I thought Winnipeggers supported the efforts and success of one another, but I guess I was wrong.
Me: Uh, okay, well best of luck then.
GG: Yeah, thanks.
Now on further reflection, I realize that I should support the efforts of this author. He is on the radio after all. His name is Gerry Goertzen, and his book is called, Relational Tri-Umph: Solving Relational Stress and Building Relational Success. For the money ($18.64), Gerry’s advice on relational success is pure gold. I can personally vouch for his ability to steer you away from relational stress and into relational success. He’s an expert.
Unfortunately, we have no copies on our shelves, but it is for sale on Amazon.