No bones about it

When you appear on daytime television, you never know who else will be on the same show. In the past, I’ve shared studios with magicians, chefs and animal acts. Yesterday, on Canada AM, was the first time I’ve ever been the lead-in to a skeleton. Here’s the link to my interview.

The bones were among the props used by a physiotherapist whose message was don’t carry too much in your purse or laptop satchel because excess weight can be hard on your back. In addition to the skeleton she was lugging four heavy bags of stuff, an irony not lost on her. At one point a leg from the skeleton went missing thus setting off an excited search for the lost limb.

Among the other interviews I did were half-hour shows with Howard Green on Business News Network as well as John Tory, who, among other roles, is now hosting a three-hour daily show on CFRB. The former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario is enjoying his radio job. He admitted he was nervous at first but after five months is such a professional that he sounds like he’s been in the broadcasting business all his adult life. Watch the full half-hour interview on BNN here.

Between interviews I did what are called “drop ins” at bookstores to sign books. These are not official signings where announcements are made in advance and you hope eager buyers line up. That only works for celebrities like Larry King or Bill Clinton. Instead, staff at each store have been told by the publisher to expect you. Copies of your book are stacked and ready to sign. I can do about fifty copies in five minutes.

So, if you’re looking for a signed book, they’re available at branches of Indigo at Yonge and Eglinton, Festival Hall on John Street, First Canadian Place, Eaton Centre, Manulife Centre and the World’s Biggest Bookstore on Edward Street.

At one such signing, a man sidled up to me and asked, “Is that the book I read about in the Toronto Star this morning?” It is, I replied. He bought one and was able to have it autographed personally. While such publicity helps sell books, placement in the store trumps all other marketing. If browsers see your book at the front of the store, they’re more likely to buy it even if they haven’t heard about it before. As a result, publishers pay for visibility. With 100,000 new books coming out every year in North America, that’s the only way to get through the clutter.

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