My two main focuses for the last few weeks have been the book and the pop-up shop.
First, the book. This publishing malarkey is proving to be an interesting process.
I now know how important a supportive Launch Team leaving customer reviews is for an eBook’s success. It’s essential.
So if you were on my Launch Team, or if you found out about the book through other means, downloaded it and left a customer review, thank you very much. I hope you enjoyed it, and your support continues to help.
If you haven’t yet left a review, it would be lovely if you did. If you don’t know how, shoot me an email on the Contact Us page and I’ll walk you through it. It will take you less than two minutes.
Did I mention that customer reviews are the life blood of books on Amazon? Ha! I meant did I mention it more than two thousand times, so that was a trick question all you smarty-pantses, because so far I’ve only mentioned it eleventy-hundred times.
While the book was in the Kindle Free Store I was beaten to the top spot by John Grisham, Danielle Steele, JK Rowling and a whole bunch of raunchy 50 Shades of Grey rip-off novels. So I figure, if I write a book about our next buying trip I need to include a fair bit of political intrigue and a whole lot of raunchy sex, preferably with wizards. Then I’ll have a best seller on my hands.
And it will also be the best buying trip ever!
Meanwhile, today I received note from the publisher of the print version, telling me that the proof copy is on its way to me. Yay! My plan is that it will be a beautiful looking book, and if you’ve looked through the eBook you’ve already had a glimpse of that. So fingers crossed that it looks how I’ve planned it to look.
My second preoccupation has been the pop-up shop. We’re almost into the final week, and it’s been fun and totally worth opening. Customers have mostly been lovely. Readers of my old blog (www.debrapalmen.blogspot.com.au) will know that in our permanent shop we had a passing cavalcade of very strange visitors. Mostly people were nice, but boy oh boy there were plenty of strange ones.
I thought we had escaped the notice of local weirdos because until today the only strange behaviour had centred on Calypso, the furry shop manager.
Can you believe one visitor kissed Calypso on the lips?? Kissed my cat on the lips. Blerk! Don’t go kissing my cat on the lips. At least no tongues were involved.
The second incident involved a customer who squatted down to look Calypso in the face.
Unlike many cats, Calypso is perfectly happy to have prolonged, direct eye contact with people. And she has the most captivating, apple green eyes. Oh my God! this customer exclaimed, She’s looking right into my soul! She’s - Actually - Looking – Into - My – Soul.
Nope. She was just looking at you, lady. No x-ray vision was involved. No special soul-detection skills. She’s just a cat wot likes to look at people.
But other than a few women a little bit over-the-top in their enthusiasm for Calypso – and she is very beautiful afterall, it was all good.
Today I had a man come in who was at first very enthusiastic about our shop having so many old French pieces. He said he couldn’t afford anything until I pointed out that the cheapest thing in the shop is 50 cents. Even lovely old cut glass pate pots that are over 100 years old are only $12. So then he was very enthusiastic about looking about.
So far, so good.
As we were chatting I told him that we personally bought the stock in France and England in April, and that we’re going back in September.
That was my first big mistake. Big mistake. Huge.
He came right up to my desk and very aggressively told me that if we are going to France in September, it must be because we are Jewish agents, part of Mossad and the CIA, who are especially warned by ISIS where not to go in France so we can avoid being bombed.
My second mistake was to laugh and say I was pretty sure that Islamic extremists wouldn’t be warning either Jewish people or intelligence officers from any country how to avoid being slaughtered by them.
Because in saying what I thought Islamic extremists wouldn't do, I had apparently confessed to exactly what he suspected all along – that I am clearly a Jewish CIA/Mossad operative in touch with Islamic State so I can buy antiques in France safe in the knowledge that I won’t get caught up in a terrorist incident.
Then he asked me if I had been in New York during 9/11, and when I confirmed that I hadn’t that was my third mistake. Ha! he yelled, That’s because you knew to avoid being there! Your contacts told you to stay away!
Now I was cranky with him. I stood up, and I’m pleased to report that my Cranky Face is still sufficient to make grown men step back. And were you in New York then? I asked. No? Do you know how ridiculous you sound? It’s time for you to go.
He spluttered about how We know all about you people, all the way to the door as I threw him out. Whatever he was yelling as he walked down the street I didn’t hear, but I’m pretty sure it was mean things about me. And my Jewish-ISIS-CIA-Mossad co-conspirators.
It’s not pleasant to have aggressive shouty men in the shop when I’m there alone. But soon after he left a nurse from a local hospital told me all about a weird encounter she’d just had in the hospital carpark, and an assistant from the supermarket across the road told me how two old men loudly told her how much they would spank her if they could have reached her across the counter. I guess she didn’t wrap their deli produce fast enough.
We all agreed that because there isn't a full moon right now, today is officially Dark Side of the Moon Day.
So it’s your day, Local Strange People! Stand up and start ranting! Trot out all your fantasies and conspiracy theories and whacko stories. Let the dark side of the moon pull and tug at your brainwaves. Just let it all come spilling out; an undiluted stream of consciousness, all your darkest thoughts and suspicions.
Because, from tomorrow, it’s over.
Your local antiques shop, and your local hospital, and your local supermarket aren’t going to take it anymore. You will be thrown out on your bony little bottoms. And won’t that will give you something to rant about, and finally something real to rant about.
But save it until next year, until your special day. Dark Side of the Moon Day.