Flogging books at the bike show

Jeremy Kroeker is a famous author — or so he tells us, anyway.

He’s also one of CMG’s newest contributors, and we look forward to publishing his column each month. His first will be about what it’s like to be an exhibitor at a motorcycle show, so we strong-armed him into giving us this short preview, tapped out during one of his (many?) quiet moments this past weekend at the Calgary Motorcycle Show.

Come back in a week to read his full-length version — unless he’s blown his first deadline, of course. -Ed.


Well, I’ve done it again. Two nights in a row I’ve gone out with friends for “just one quick pint,” and ended up hitting the pillow at 2 AM.

The occasion? The traveling circus of motorcycle shows is rolling across Canada, and I’m one of the carnies. So, every day I get up early, rush to set up my booth where I display my books, and tell the same jokes to hundreds of different people. (“The books are $20, but today I’m throwing in a $100 signature for free.”) I’m not being insincere, though. I genuinely connect with folks in the crowd. It’s just that, recycled jokes work and they save me energy. Hey, I’m hung over.

I’m sitting at my booth on the second day of the Calgary show as I write this. It’s still early, so I know I won’t get any foot traffic for a while. People act in predictable ways when they arrive at these shows. They rush straight to the manufacturer booths to check out the new iron. Then, possibly hours later, they visit us little vendors — the booksellers, jewelry makers, DVD sellers, and so on.

It’s these quiet moments I cherish. And it gives me a chance to think about an article I’m going to write for CMG. I’ll have something of value for you in a week’s time, dear reader.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my head is clearing, people are beginning to amble past, and I have jokes to recycle.

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