Hello, I’m the reason you’re going to keep being an author

Today at a book signing, there was a man in his early to mid-twenties who walked by my table, and then came back. He then hung in the background as I was talking with someone. I looked him over several times, and I found it highly unlikely that he was the type to buy my book. After you’ve hand-sold over 2400 books, you get a feel for ‘likelihood’ but you also learn, you never know. What he said to me floored me.

Here’s how the dialogue went:

Me – “Hi. Would you like to hear about my books?”

Him – “I already know about them. I read one of them.”

I was skeptical. Again, it seemed like a very generalized comment, the way he gestured at books 1 and 2, not knowing which one he necessarily read made me suspicious. However, there was something about the way he was looking at the books.

Him – “I read them when I was going through chemo.”

Shortly after Book 2 came out in September 2014, I donated 10 copies of each book to my local children’s hospital. Later in the spring of 2015, I donated 10 copies of books 1, 2 and 3 to my local Ronald McDonald House. Clearly, some of the books from one of them spread out to the cancer center.

Him – “The story really grabbed me, pulled me right in. I really liked it. I… I really appreciated having it. I don’t have any money to buy your books, but if I did I would.”

Me – “Hey, no worries. Thank you so much for sharing that with me, it’s worth way more to me. How’s your cancer now?”

Him – “I’ve been in remission for a week.”

Me – “That’s amazing. You’ve made my week.”

Him – “Would you sign a bookmark for me?”

Me – “Absolutely.”

Him – “Hey, please keep doing this. It meant a lot to me.”

… what do you say after that? I mean, really?

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