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Meeting paperback readers

Toronto’s flagship Indigo store invited me to do a meet-and-greet, so I spent four hours in the store’s Mystery section yesterday presiding over twin stacks of SAFE HARBOR and BLACK WATER. It was a golden opportunity to meet paperback readers.

With our recent run of extremely hot summer weather, it was the kind Saturday you’d expect people to head for a swimming pool or a beach. The crowds were on the light side, but the shoppers who turned out were buying books—lots of books.

One woman told me she’d just returned from her summer cottage because she’d run out of books. She was loading up a canvas bag with paperbacks, including a copy of BLACK WATER, and told me that she goes through a book a day when she’s on vacation. Another shopper, sporting a Haliburton School for the Arts T-shirt, had just returned to the city after spending a glorious week at a painting workshop at the wonderful art school that’s a 20-minute drive from my stone cottage in the Haliburton Highlands. I told her that BLACK WATER is set in a fictitious part of Ontario cottage country that bears a very strong resemblance to the Highlands. She bought a copy of BLACK WATER.

Readers are readers, whether they prefer their books in paperback and hardcover format, or like to read them on their Kindles, Kobos or Nooks. They want good stories. And many of them enjoy meeting an author, and will tell their family and friends about the encounter. I introduced Pat Tierney to a number of new readers and some prospects. Some may go on to purchase e-copies of the books. A number were tickled to hear that Pat is based in Toronto. Their very own city is the setting for a mystery!

I let them know that although SAFE HARBOR is the first book in the Pat Tierney series, they could easily start with BLACK WATER. But many chose to go with the first book, and we ran through the store’s entire SAFE HARBOR inventory, and cut into a good chunk of its supply of BLACK WATER.

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