Jul 13

I’ve done four signings in the last month with what you might euphemistically call, “mixed results.” Three of those were at Sam’s Clubs in the area. At the first one another author had cancelled and they thought it was me who had pulled out so they didn’t have anything ready. But once they got sorted it went okay, and I returned the following weekend to make up for the mix-up. Although I didn’t sell that many books, two people emailed me the next week saying they had seen the set-up, which even in itself is good as you need to get your name out there.

At the other Sam’s they had a great fancy display, a big poster and a lovely cloth-draped table, but I only sold one book the two-and-a-half hours I was there, my worst signing yet. But I was back there last week and they have sold half the books they bought from the publisher and the remaining copies are spread over a big display, so again it was definitely worth it.

I also did a signing at Finn’s for the Confederation’s Cup final between the USA and Brazil. That was a great day and the pub was absolutely jammed, perhaps the busiest I have ever seen it. Despite there being no room to move I still sold more books than I had at any of the three Sam’s Clubs, which I guess proves that you need to target your demographic.

Anyway, I’m off back to California this week and it’s going to be busy.

Next Monday my friend Gordon and I will be driving up to Pasadena to take part in the Chelsea in America supporters’ tournament. I get the impression it is not taken too seriously and is more of a kick around and get-together than a proper no-holds-barred deal. Then in the afternoon I am off to a business meeting, before a signing at Lucky Baldwin’s bar in Pasadena.

The bar are having a question and answer session with a couple of former players, and the organisers have very kindly allowed me to piggyback on the night (or parachute in, whichever you prefer) and it should be a good laugh.

The next day I am driving into LA to be on the radio show World Soccer Daily which I am really looking forward to, then hopefully (because it is not finalised yet) I can set up at the FanFest at the Rose Bowl before the Chelsea / Inter Milan game. So it’s shaping up to be a busy but hopefully enjoyable few days – and I get to see Chelsea play in the US again for the first time in three years.

I made it to games on their US visits in 2004, 2005 and 2006, but their 2007 tour coincided with Julie being eight-and-a-half months pregnant. I did tentatively raise the issue with her doctor on one visit but a, “Don’t even think about it dear” shot it down pretty quickly. As it was, Nicola arrived nearly two weeks early anyway so it was probably a good thing. Probably.

The following week I’m off to Dallas to do much the same thing and pack as much as possible into two days. I start with a signing in Barnes and Noble, then appear at another Q&A with the ex-players that night, before setting up at a tailgate event before the game against Club America the next day. And I get to see my mate Lippy, a Chelsea supporter who used to live in New Orleans and left after Katrina.

Once I get these two trips out of the way I’ll start planning the next ones. On my radar are a Celtic festival in Jackson, Mississippi and also a visit to Charleston, South Carolina. If we have a quiet hurricane season…

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