A book launch at Books and Books

Books and Books, the internationally known and admired bookstore in Miami, hosts many author events every month. 
On the evening of March 5th, writer 
Timothy "T.D." Allman held his launch party for his latest book, Finding Florida, at their Coral Gables location.

Just inside the main entrance is their open air patio, which sits in between the store's expansive book rooms.  Here customers and admirers of Mr. Allman gather for some delicious wines and conversation before heading inside to hear him speak.

 In the store's cafe, Timothy meets with a few of his fans before his presentation. Timothy's previous  books,  Miami, City of the Future and Rogue State: America at War with the World have made him a much sought-after speaker.

Timothy's book stacked at the cash register.  A lot of thought goes into designing a book jacket -- this one had many tweaks before settling on yellow (to match his earlier book) and to include native plants of Florida.

 Books and Books is one of the few independent bookstores in nation that has space large enough to host events of this size.

 Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books and Books, introduces his old friend to the audience. They have known each other since Timothy wrote his first book on Miami in 1988. Timothy not only has a home in Miami Beach but also in New York and France. Obviously writing books can be more lucrative than selling them. 

 After the introduction Mitchell can relax and enjoy the show.

Timothy introduces Finding Florida to his rapt audience. Here is an excerpt from Atlantic Monthly's description of his book: Over its long history, Florida has been many things: an Edenic realm protected by geography; a wilderness that ruined Spanish conquistadors; a place to start over and “god’s waiting room.”. The site of vicious racial violence, including massacres, genocide, slavery, and the terrorist campaigns that undid Reconstruction, Florida is now one of our most diverse states, a dynamic multicultural place with an essential role in twenty-first century America. Allman says that from the very first, the story of Florida has been distorted and whitewashed.
The product of a decade of research and writing, Finding Florida is a highly original, stylish, and masterful work, the first modern comprehensive history of this fascinating place.

 A long line of patient T. D. Allman devotees wait for a  autographed copy.

 I'm sure Mitchell is thinking nice thoughts about me.

At the end of the line, I know he will have some fascinating reading ahead.

The next evening Books and Books joined with Miami Beach's famous
 Joe's Stone Crab restaurant for yet another event.

And finally I sit down with the man himself for a little strategy session on when, where and how best to sell his book on his author tour.

Bookstore author events are integral to the success of a book. It's where the actual sale of an author's work hits the street. After sometimes years of writing and re-writing, finding an agent and then a publisher (who has an editor go over the manuscript), the final book is presented to the publisher's sales team (where I come in). At that point I go out to see my bookstore buyers and try to convince them, armed with lots of important notes written at sales conferences, to stock this book on their shelves. Finally, with the backing of the publicity departments, the book is released into the world at events such as these. It's always a pleasure to connect fine writers with great bookstores, the result is always most satisfactory indeed!


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