Hey, Pumpkin Pie! You guessed closest to the grand total in the Price is Right Piggy Bank Signed Book Giveaway Contest, at $92.44. The actual total was $100.07, which shocked the hell out of me. So Pumpkin, to claim your prize, shoot me an email at jess(at)jessriley.com, and be sure to tell me your address and who I'm signing the book for.
I had been dreading the actual discovery of how much money those piggy banks contained, because they had no stoppers in the bottom, and I'd have to break them with a hammer to get the coins out. So I devised a very inefficient method of busting each bank with a hammer in an open gallon-size bag, sifting the coins with a slotted spoon to get rid of the thousands of tiny glass shards, and finally depositing them in another bag. I unwisely did this on my kitchen counter, getting bits of glass and glass dust all over the place. So if I die of intestinal bleeding this weekend, it's because glass dust found its way into my mac and cheese.
After I stopped at the bank with my sack-o-coins, I went to the post office to mail a box of 18 signed books to someone. I was hoping to use the reduced media rate, so I told the woman at the counter that my package was full of books. "Anything else in there?" she asked, surprising me.
I thought for a minute. A small sheet of bubble wrap and a handwritten note, which I included almost as an afterthought. "Um, just a card?" I added.
"Oh, then you can't use the media rate," the postal worker said smugly, applying the higher shipping cost.
The next time I mail books anywhere? There will be no handwritten notes accompanying them. *wink wink nudge nudge*
A final note: for anyone having trouble finding Driving Sideways in bookstores, I'm sad to say this is probably going to be more common than not...we have already sold 80% of all copies in print (Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!), leaving about 5,000 copies in bookstores or warehouses nationwide. Typically, books have a 3-month shelf life at stores after their release; after that point (unless a title is selling really well), bookstores will start shipping books back to the publisher, because they have to make room for new books. I heard that there are something like 17,000 new books published EVERY DAY in the U.S., so if this figure is remotely close to the truth, you see what bookstores have to contend with. (Authors as well--you tend to feel an obscene amount of pressure to load all of your publicity activities into the first three months of your book's release, because you know the clock's ticking.)
Some major bookstore chains will continue to carry one or two copies of a particular book if it sold relatively well, and re-orders are driven by sales data.
SO. If you are looking for a copy of Driving Sideways to give to someone for the holidays, your best bet is to order online, or ask your local bookstore to order it for you. And if you want that copy signed, email me: I can either send you a signed adhesive bookplate, or you can send me your copy of the book plus a self-addressed, stamped return envelope and I'd be happy to sign the book itself and pop it back in the mail for you.
Have a fanfreakingtastic weekend....Cheerio!