Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Costco Book Signings Going Well, Kiln Shed Nearly Complete

I am tired. Exhausted is really more like it. I have been signing 3-4 days a week at Costco and in my spare time, I have been constructing a new kiln shed. This one is nearly 20' X 20'. I still have to build a new kiln too, but one step at a time.

I fell off a ladder yesterday. I'm not sure how it happened. I was just standing on top of the eight foot ladder, working on the roof and the next thing I know, I was on the ground, tied in a knot around said ladder. Somehow, the fall broke the window in the studio. I missed all my vital organs, but have some bruises on my arms and legs to write home about. I thank the heavens it wasn't worse.

On Monday, I harvested my honey. I have been a beekeeper for the past three years. I got 120 pounds of honey this year which is quite impressive considering that I have only one hive. I got away cheap this year, only two stings, one on my chin which made me look pretty funny, and another on my elbow which I didn't discover until later that evening when the swelling caused my elbow to appear nearly twice the size. I'm not even allergic. My brother Abe who is highly allergic got stung on his lip a week ago when he was harvesting his honey. He looked like a cartoon character, and not a good one. The swelling usually stays for three to four days.

I just got off the phone with my friend, Mike Ramsdell, the author of the Train to Potevka. He is on his way home from San Diego where he was meeting with a literary agency to handle his book. He has pushed it hard and has been signing books at Costco for over three years. He has sold something like 150,000 books through Costco and has finally signed a contract with this agency to take his book to the big leagues in New York, to take it to auction. He kicks himself for already having sold the movie rights to another group after the agency told him he could have done better. Live and learn I suppose.

So, I have personally sold nearly three hundred books at Costco in the last two weeks. The first edition is officially sold out except for a handful I have here. The second edition is pretty cool. Nicer cover, a little more art inside, a lot less--hopefully no errors. People are starting to come back and buy copies to share with their friends and family and the Christmas season hasn't even started yet, even though you would guess it has from the looks of Costco and the early snowfall we recieved today.

I'll be in Bountiful tomorrow and Ogden on Friday. See you at Costco. Come and I'll buy lunch. Cheers. Ben

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dan Brown-32 Ben Behunin-56

Well, its not everyday I sell more books than Dan Brown, but I did today, at least at the Murray Costco. It was a good day, lots of nice folks and I had enough energy to enjoy it.
Since I wrote last, I have recieved another order for 400 books from Costco which brings my back order status to a whopping 900 books. The second edition of Volume one will be out on Tuesday next. This is starting to become fun.
I printed five copies of volume 2 on Monday. My mom asked for an early copy to read on her trip to Norway. I promised my father in law a copy. Bert Compton, my layout guy got a copy to begin working on his part. Another two copies went to friends and editors. I still hope and think I am on track to have the book ready by November 1 or soon there after.
Life is good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Full Moon?

Last night was a full moon, I think. I didn't sleep, kept awake by the moonbeams that filtered through my shutters, painting stripes on my floor. I should have gotten up to close them, but there is something incredible about moonbeams, whatever power they have over the night.
I was up late working on edits for Remembering Isaac with Bert Compton, my layout guy and my friend. Together, we have known many late nights on this book and will know many more, I'm sure, before this series is over.
You may ask why I am editing this book now. I am back ordered 450 books with an order that has come in from Costco of Utah. Each store ordered 100 books after a good showing on Friday and Saturday at the Sandy store. I sold out of 100 books in a day and a half . I found my groove, which I suppose is like finding one's thrill on blueberry hill. I actually had a good time, too.
So, before I print my next edition of 5000 books, I thought I would clean up a few things. I spent a lot of hours making minor tweeks and fixing punctuation in the book. It feels good. I also spent some more time yesterday editing book two. I am really liking it. It is a different feel than book one. I feel like I have become a much better writer in book two which is encouraging and works well with the way Jake also progresses.
I originally printed 1500 books and hoped I would sell them all by Christmas. By September 1, I had sold them all and had the back order too. I am meeting my distributor this morning to hand over 200 books which will help is back order problem, but won't solve it for a couple of weeks until I get the books back from the printer.
I will be speaking to another book club on Tuesday. This seems to be a good book for book groups. It is clean, won't make you blush and offers a lot of good things to think about. I am also enjoying hearing about the broad appeal it has for so many people.
Yesterday, I began taking down my deck in preparation for building a new kiln shed. We hope to make some changes to our house next spring and moving my kiln will be necessary to make those changes. I figured while I'm at it, I might as well do it right. I am making the kiln smaller. I no longer need so much space because I am no longer using as much clay. The kiln shed will be functional for all my needs and make the back yard more attractive.
I also got my proposed schedule for book signings yesterday. I will be signing 3-4 days a week as soon as all the stores have their books. I dont know when I am going to make pots. I am already tired.
So, I guess I better get up. I have books to deliver, and will be signing today in Sandy at the Costco from 12-6. Wish me luck.