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Long line-ups at Sarah Palin events deter rare booksellers

going-rogueI was quite excited when I heard the details about Sarah Palin’s book tour. Not because I wanted to line up to the meet the lady, but because I thought lots of signed copies of her book, Going Rogue, would end up for sale on AbeBooks and we’d be selling them by the truckload.

It hasn’t quite worked out like that. A couple of signed copies have found their way on to AbeBooks and been sold for $115 to $180, but that’s about it. It’s not like the mad scramble, money is no object, for signed Barack Obama books in the hours after his election campaign victory. Don’t get me wrong – people are searching AbeBooks for signed copies of Going Rogue every day but they are going away disappointed because we have no signed copies for sale.

Basically, the problem is that no booksellers are willing to line up for 10 hours, 12 hours or 14 hours in order to get a book signed by Palin at one of her appearances. The waiting times at her appearances have been huge with folks camping out in order to get a decent place in the line-up. It simply doesn’t make financial sense for booksellers – they could spend the day runnning their bookstore, uploading new books to Internet sites or acquiring new rare books to sell. Fourteen hours spent in a line-up outside a Barnes & Noble bookshop in the Midwest simply isn’t well spent time for a return of $100 on the book.

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