Sadly, Chapters did not work out.
We spoke to a few people, make perhaps a few connections with friends they knew, telling us that these friends played D&D, but it was the wrong crowd. Too many mothers and fathers with children, too many aged couples, too many people walking through the bookstore with a thousand yard stare. They weren't just ignoring us, it was clear watching them pass that they were ignoring everything.
Having time to watch the bookstore in action, I saw far more customers arriving for the Starbucks next to us than seemed to come for the books. I saw staff bored out of their minds, clearly with nothing to do and no one to direct. All in all, a disappointing day.
But an educational one. A day with a message. A day reminding me that I've done very well to pursue my book on the internet. I could not help but think of people with no internet presence, bravely writing their first book, then attempting to do what I did today with everything resting on succeeding at a bookstore. That would be . . . heartbreaking. I am glad I did not have all my eggs in that basket.
I woke today to find on my feed that we had sold a book overnight. In a day or two, I will see another book being sold. Puts failing at the Chapters in perspective.
It is sad, however. It is. By the end of the day, what with feeling one kind of stress before, then keeping up our energy to be hit with another sort of stress at the end (as we debriefed), we came home exhausted and strung out. I had a sleep and now I'm up, feeling like this is something that happened yesterday.
So, next Saturday I will do it again. At a completely different Chapters, much further out, in the suburbs. Could be good. Could be bad. We'll just have to find out.