I did a talk at the public Library in Questa, NM, a village of about a thousand people nestled in the mountains of northern New Mexico. There is one grocery store, one gasoline station, one small hardware shop. No movie theater, no bowling alley, no bookstore. No tourists go there. The folks who live there are mostly people who were born there, descendants of the original Spanish families who were given land grants by the King of Spain in the 15th and 16th Centuries. A few retirees have moved in, drawn by the low cost of living and the beautiful scenery.
Why waste my time doing an event in Questa? First, I have this perhaps naïve belief that people who read your books or know about them have a multiplier effect. Someone in Questa will read the book and recommend it to their cousin up the road in El Rito who will give it to their son who will go off to college and mention it to a roommate.
Secondly, it’s fun. Small towns are more appreciative of visiting authors, and here is a great example. The librarian in Questa made a big dish of Miss Gladys’ seven layer dip and served it to all the attendees. She also xeroxed the recipe out of my book and distributed copies to the attendees, most of whom told me they were going to add it to their recipe collection because it was so good.
There are about twenty people in Questa who have read both my books, and they will all buy the upcoming third one. But the part I like best is that some of them are actually going to use a recipe from the book.