Not long ago, I was in Brisbane, and called by the iconic Aussie bookshop, Angus & Robertson.
While there, I was intrigued to see that an energetic young man had hauled out a school desk and chair to the street frontage, and was busily touting his self-published book to passersby.
Impressed by his resourcefulness, I first checked that the store actually stocked his books (it did, which accounted for the tolerant expressions on the faces of the bookstore staff), and then got into conversation with the author, Ian Walkley.
Had he sold many books? Quite a few, he said, and promptly tried to sell me one. I declined the kind offer, but did ask him to autograph one of the postcards he was handing out -- as, after all, with his kind of resourcefulness, he might turn out to be Australia's answer to Ian Fleming.
Today, while hunting through one of the piles on my desk for something else, I turned up the card, and had no trouble at all remembering how I had obtained it.
So, how were the book and its author doing? Not badly at all, judging by his entry on amazon.com The book has won something or other, judging by the sticker, and there is a very respectable number of rave reviews.
Definitely much of it is due to his personal drive. Not only has Ian Walkley paid for a Kirkus review, but he has a prominent presence on Shelfari and Good Reads.
One hopes that he can spare the time from all this to produce a second volume. Judging by the customer reviews, it should be well received.