Saturday, December 08, 2007

N-i-k-k-i S-i-x-x

Yes, this person, formerly of Motley Crue, was doing a book and CD signing at my store last night. It was wild and wildly successful, and very entertaining for the average bookstore patron to witness.

My day started at 6am Friday morning, when I awoke after a mere 4 hours of sleep, made ready for work, then arrived at my store at 7am to see 20 people already camped out front. When we opened the store at 9am, 75 people streamed in to pick up their wristbands for the signing line order.

And then, all damn day long, people in and out of the store, asking the same 10 questions over and over and over and over. I took my lunch break at 1pm, at which time I enjoyed a piece of banana nut loaf cake (like banana bread) from my cafe. I should have eaten more, because I didn't get an opportunity to sit down or take another break for the rest of the day.

The atmosphere was like Harry Potter on heroin.

I say that in jest, but the title of this guy's book is The Heroin Diaries, so you can see the connection.

The rules of the signing were simple:

Wristbands for line order will be distributed starting at 10am on the day of the signing
You must have a copy of the new book and/or the new CD soundtrack to the book to get a wristband
One wristband per person
He will only sign the new book and/or CD
Absolutely no memorabilia is permitted
No posing for photos
Do not try to hug him
You will be removed from the signing line if these rules are not followed

Simple, right?
You'd think so.

Everyone thinks their situation is special. They think, 'hey, if he'll just take a look at this cool ratty nasty dirty poster I have from 1982, he'll surely sign it!' or 'I drove all the way from (insert city or state here), and no one told me about any wristbands' or 'I'm a recovering heroin addict, if you tell him that, he'll surely want me bumped to the front of the line'.

Um, no. Be polite, but be assertive and firm and loud. It's amazing how people respond to strength and will do what I tell them to. 'You must line up on the blue line on the floor.' 'I will have you removed if you have any memorabilia with you.' 'You must keep this area clear.' Not rude, not nasty, just spoken very loudly and with my total. I'm really damn good at these things.

So, the author arrived a bit later than planned, but he signed books and CDs for everyone who had wristbands. It was a very slow process, taking almost 4 hours, but several hundred people left happy.

My store is trashed...empty coffee cups, water bottles, and packs of cigarettes (wtf?) all over the place. But I made a crapload of money, and a few hundred new people have visited my store for the first time and hopefully will return to shop at some point in the future.

After he finally left, my boss (who had come to help with the event) and I went across the street to one of the restaurant bars and debriefed the event. We were self-congratulatory, of course. It was a great event and generated a lot of money, but I'm glad it's over. Now I can refocus everyone and everything on the holiday gift shoppers.

5 comments:

CatBoy said...

"But I went to school with his sister and surely he will remember me and want to sign all the things I will be listing on e-bay tomorrow."

Sounds like a successful day, you lush.

chenchy said...

congrats on your event! no rest for the weary in retail....

emma said...

"The atmosphere was like Harry Potter on heroin."

Haha!

I wouldn't walk across the street to see Nikki Sixx (or Nikki Seven for that matter)

Where those your rules or his rules? Was he at least straight and polite for those poor dregs of society waiting to see him?

One thing that pissed me off royalty when I used to work at a bookstore and we had author signings: Dumb crybaby assholes who would BUY THE BOOK AT WALMART AND BRING IT TO OUR STORE FOR THE AUTOGRAPH!! Did they think we were just hosting an event for our health?? Sheesh.

emma said...

"The atmosphere was like Harry Potter on heroin."

Haha!

I wouldn't walk across the street to see Nikki Sixx (or Nikki Seven for that matter)

Where those your rules or his rules? Was he at least straight and polite for those poor dregs of society waiting to see him?

One thing that pissed me off royalty when I used to work at a bookstore and we had author signings: Dumb crybaby assholes who would BUY THE BOOK AT WALMART AND BRING IT TO OUR STORE FOR THE AUTOGRAPH!! Did they think we were just hosting an event for our health?? Sheesh.

Jenny Robin said...

They were HIS rules, not ours. We were the enforcers of the rules. To many, their hero, or heroin, in this case, can do no wrong.