Yesterday, Connie Brooks received 1,000 advance copies of my next book "Talking To Animals: How We Can Understand Them And They Can Understand Us," due out from Simon and Schuster on May 5. I am signing and personalizing every book sold or pre-ordered at Battenkill Books, a wonderful independent bookstore in my town.
Connie and I mean to sell all 1,000 of these books by publication date, and then plan to sell 1,000 more after it comes out. Connie says the pre-orders, now at about 700, have broken the all-time record for a single shipment of books to the store. The first 1,000 people to pre-order the book get a classy literary, dog-themed tote bag that says "Sit. Stay.Read" with a border collie hovering.
Today, after the sheep shearing, I got an e-mail from Connie and Red and I went running over to the bookstore, I signed about 75 books, they are all going to be mailed out just before the publication date, we have a lot of work to do.
Red knows the drill, he gets up to greet customers and charm women and otherwise sits by my feet while I sign books. It is a ritual I have come to love. Maria usually joins me, but she has been sick this week with some sort of stomach virus. Hopefully, she'll be back with me at the bookstore tomorrow.
I am especially proud of this "Talking To Animals," it is a living memoir of the animals that have shaped my life and my work, a guide to how I have learned to communicate with them successfully, and also an argument for a new and wiser understanding of animals in our world.
Good stuff, I think. I love using the book to support an independent bookstore (as well as my work), and I thank the first 700 people who bought it. We have 300 tote-bags left and will happily order more once we hear the mark. You can pre-order the book here.
It takes a good while to personalize each book,and I try to follow the requests, but sometimes I admit I balk. I don't do cute dog talk, to dogs or people, and I don't inscribe lengthy odes to long-lost dogs and cats, not at 10 or 12 lines. I'll do it for one or two.
I also can't write words I couldn't possibly know or say. My inscriptions do have to be genuine.
Otherwise, I try hard to be accommodating to the good people who have bought my book. I see many people are doing some Christmas shopping early for dog and other animal lovers. I signed a bunch of "Merry Christmas" books today. The book deals with sheep, donkeys, dogs, barn cats, chickens and a horse or two, even a 3,000 lb Swiss Steer.
So, only about eight or nine hundred books to go.
Connie and her staff are quite wonderful and need to thrive, and they also take Paypal and major credit cards and will ship anywhere in the world. I am a loyal Amazon customer, but I don't wish for them to be the only bookseller in the world. And I don't wish to be the last writer in the world, either.
Thanks for supporting my work and for helping to keep the book alive.