Random Musings

Best Selling Book

August 17, 2012

Tags: writing life, author, books, memoirs, independent bookstores, author events

Never underestimate the power of an enthusiastic bookseller. Yesterday, I learned that The Scent of God had made the best-seller list at Parnassus Bookstore in Nashville, "all because Heidi, one of the women at the store is crazy for your book and makes everyone buy it." The note was signed by Ann Patchett, who opened Parnassus Bookstore with business partner Karen Hayes to fill a gap left when two bookstores closed. What a thrill, especially as some book distributors say they can't get copies to sell even when customers request the book.

Last week, I drove five hours to sign books at Sister Wolf Book Store in Park Rapids. Sister Wolf is a popular independent known for it's exciting author and artist festival every summer that attracts people from all over. I'd had to cancel my appearance at that event due to a severe injury and was delighted when they requested I make a separate appearance when I was finally healed enough to commute a long distance. Again, enthusiastic booksellers directed patrons toward "the author in the store," making the signing, which can sometimes bomb (customers scurrying around the author and avoiding eye contact), a success.

I left Park Rapids later that afternoon and drove down to Little Falls, an hour and a half away for two events to be held the following day at Bookin’It Bookstore : a signing in the morning and an intimate three-course tea at the historic Waller House Inn later that afternoon. A good friend and book fan made arrangements for me to stay at the Franciscan Sisters Little Falls MN in a charming little hermitage where I recaptured the sense of quiet I so love. Bookin'it's cozy store was another wonderful surprise, introducing me to the lively owner Laura and her staff. Laura was everywhere with her camera during the tea at the Inn. We feasted on a delicious three course tea and the writing life and my work with an enthusiastic group of book-lovers at the tea. Then back to the monastery to rest before meeting two of that lively group for supper in town.

Those three great happenings launched me back to my computer where the response to my latest newsletter generated several hundred wonderful responses waiting for my replies, and into the writing shed to pick up the abandoned sequel to The Scent of God for a fresh look prior to an extensive rewrite.

I hope your week has been equally generous with you even though the halcyon days of summer are growing perceptively shorter and there's a definite hint of fall in the air here on Lake Superior.


  1. August 18, 2012 9:45 AM EDT
    Beryl! That is such fantastic news! But we could have expected it... ;)
    - Jessie V
  2. September 12, 2012 6:23 PM EDT
    I SO HAPPY to hear about this, Beryl. What a wonderful woman your 'book' encountered and how blessed you are to have someone with such a heart that she wants to share your work with others. She does know good work, I must say and you are certainly deserving of a "best -seller" category. Congratulations.
    - Lainie
  3. September 13, 2012 11:34 PM EDT
    Beryl!! That's just such good news!!! You are generous with your time and travel and I'm happy it has turned out so well. People fall in love with you after reading your book...just like I did.
    - Ruth