Finally, home and working through the emails. But of course, there is one thing pre-occupying my mind – did anyone listen to me and more importantly want to know more about SuperSense by ordering the book? I am not so sure. My experience in Borders bookstore on Thursday in downtown Boston was a bit disheartening as there were not many people there waiting for me and most of those where clearly just sitting in the comfy seats to while away the time. Indeed, when I launched into my presentation (without any AV), some got up and walked away. Only one kindly couple bought the book. The rest just shuffled away and dispersed. Now that was crushing especially since I had such a fabulous reception at the Rubin Museum in New York (Buddha bless you Tim- I’ll post that one next). But back to Boston as all was not lost. The following day I went on Tom Ashbrook’s NPR show “On Point.”I had a blast. Tom was brilliant – smart, fast, engaged, insightful, inquisitive and what’s more, a huge following. I had no idea that the show attracts 1 million listeners and when we starting talking about Dawkins and Dennett who Tom had had on the show, I realized I was batting in the major league. I was wired and didn’t want to stop. You can listen to the recording here. Thanks Tom & Pien (producer) for having me…. oh and I am sure that it is no supernatural coincidence that my Amazon ranking went skyhigh after the broadcast and I am still receiving emails from Tom’s listeners.
Now if only they had scheduled the Borders Bookstore appearance after the On Point appearance, I think I may have sold a few more books. But thank you Borders for giving me a slot anyway.
12 responses to “On Point with SuperSense”
I’m so sorry you had a disappointing time at Borders. However, I do publicity for events as part of my job and one thing we always say is that most of the impact of event comes from the publicity rather than the event itself. Everyone who saw a flyer, passed by the stand of books, or read an announcement in the paper now knows a new book has been published on your topic and some of them will look for it and buy it, though it may not be clear it was the result of the event itself. So, take heart!
Thank you Carolyn- that’s very helpful … and I have to say that the Borders crew where really delightful. I guess I am just used to performing in front of enthusiastic audiences. … that and students of course, who don’t know when they are hearing good stuff!
Caught your On Point broadcast, well done. And thanks for your skepticism re free will, not many have the guts to question it.
Keep up the good work!
I had to check your Amazon ranking after reading this and it looks like Supersense is #1 in supernatural books. Congratulations!
Thanks Diane..but as a scientist I understand that rankings means very little….you could rank pain from tickling with a feather, eating hotdogs to having your finger nails ripped out..it sounds good but rankings (which incidentally is one of the main reasons we humans keep comparing ourselves.. is so illogical). but I appreciate the positive inference.
So sorry about Borders. I agree that the Borders visit would have been better if it had come after the airing of the show. But not to worry, I’m sure that your U.S. exposure was very successful.
After my blog entry, one of my friends wrote to say that she has to order the book as soon as she can. Now how’s that for a good plug?
The book signings at Borders have always seemed random. I used to spend so much time there, and I’d see a good crowd for some local romance novel author and then hardly anyone for a person I’ve heard promoted pretty hard on the radio.
It sounds like that was the one small downer in an otherwise highly successful promo run. And no church vans running you off the sidewalk a la threat made to Richard Dawkins, so that’s a massive plus!
btw – the comments in the On Point page were very interesting and intense
On reflection (and after a good rest), I feel that the US tour was a great success and while I am not sure what to make of Amazon rankings, I have been sitting there at No.1 in the supernatural category for 3 days now so someone is ordering it! Also there is a bunch of further interviews this week. The highlights for me were the Brian Lehrer show, the Rubin Brainwaves and of course, On Point. I would do it all again in a heartbeat (and some have asked me back!)
Congratulations! Though I would say that your overall success in the U.S. will depend as much on who hates you, as who likes you.
I was listening to NPR in my car on the way to a meeting when I heard Tom preview upcoming features on the program, and I was immediately conflicted between attending a very important meeting or listening to your interview. Unfortunately, continued employment and income won out, but I visited the NPR website as soon as I was able and retrieved the book information. Unfortunately, I’m not anywhere near Boston. In fact, I think South Carolina is as close to being on another planet as it is possible to be while continuing to reside on Earth. But a visit to Barnes & Noble is on my to do list when continued employment and income reduce their grip. I’ve read internet book reviews and already know that I’m going to love the book and share it widely.
Does anyone remember Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Tool Kit? Maybe (in Richard Dawkins’ terminology) the tendency to believe superstitious, supernatural material is genetic (it has, after all, dominated history) and the tendency to question and examine beliefs is a meme (and a timely good one, if I do say so myself), or perhaps more optimistically, a growing tendency in the gene pool (being more adaptive in the current environment in which genes and memes must interact more aggressively). In this case, I hope the memes win, which will change the gene pool. Imagine a world of clear thinkers!