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With my glass half-full August 21, 2009

Posted by Galaxy in Store Events, Uncategorized.
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There are pessimists who will note, with some pride, that their view of the world ensures that they are never disappointed when things go wrong and often surprised when things go better than expected. I prefer to be optimistic, but as it turns out, a bit of pessimistic planning ahead might have been a good thing this week.

As some of you may know first (or second) hand, our anticipated event with Bernd Heinrich this past Tuesday didn’t take place because the author was unfortunately unaware that he had a speaking engagement at The Galaxy Bookshop at all.

It was, certainly, an uncomfortable situation for everyone involved. For me, it was also a learning opportunity.

Lesson #1: ALWAYS re-confirm events with the author or publicist near the date of an event. The publisher may have a whole department working on author tours, and the event may be posted to the official website, but that doesn’t mean that things can’t slip between the cracks.

Lesson #2: Be prepared for contigencies. Within minutes after I made the announcement that Bernd would not be attending, I began thinking of ways in which I could have softened the blow and created some organization for everyone as we worked on our Plan B. Because I didn’t get people’s contact information, I have to hope that we will be able to reach them through our website, via our email newsletter, here, on Facebook, in advertisements, etc., in order to let them know that….

Lesson #3: Know that there is a way to rectify the situation (i.e. Don’t Panic!). The happy outcome of our canceled event is that Bernd  Heinrich made a point of stopping by the following day, on his way to Maine, to sign books for us. We now have a number of signed copies of Summer World and some of Bernd’s older books that we’d be happy to exchange for unsigned copies for any of the people who were here on Tuesday evening.

We are also working on rescheduling this event, which will either take place in October or in the spring, when Bernd’s next book (Nesting) is published. We will let everyone know as soon as we have a date–and promise (barring emergencies) that we’ll get the author to the book signing on time.

One more thing I took away from Tuesday evening–our people are good people. Though it would have been understandable for folks to get angry, annoyed, frustrated, vocal…it didn’t happen. At least, they didn’t show it. Instead, they were kind and understanding, voicing hopes of meeting Bernd here another time and offering sympathy for the situation we found ourselves in. Some people even helped us fold and stack chairs–a gesture that, on a hot and stuffy night, did not go unappreciated.

So, I will continue to be an optimist, but an optimist with a back-up plan.


1. Liam Gannon - August 22, 2009

For me there is a silver lining. I had to work a 12 hour shift the day of Bernd’s visit and thanks to your store I have become a fan. I was disappointed that I was going to miss seeing him in person but would get a full report from my friend Larry. Now I have a second chance!
I await the re-scheduled signing.

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