Saturday, March 1, 2014

Failure Coach XXIX

On the Road Again

Wandering the gallery space prior to his seminar at the Atkins Auditorium, Alan noticed, perhaps more than he expected the impact negative space has on composition. He noticed it in the sculpture forms of Henry Moore on the grounds of the museum sculpture park. He noticed it in The Italian paintings of by Caravaggio and Titian; The Impressionists and Post-Impressionists Monet, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat; English paintings and landscapes by Gainsborough and Turner, and Spanish paintings by El Greco and Goya. The simple concept of negative space allowed him to look at and appreciate fine art in an entirely different way. He knew his Negative Space book premise had legs and he was able to prove it to this audience of 350, comprised of business leaders, developers, real estate professionals and politicians. The museum visit also allowed Alan an opportunity to become a bit more familiar with some American and Contemporary artists included in the Victoria “Nana” Valentine collection. A list was e-mailed to Alan by Ivy from the appraiser/auction house in Cleveland. He didn’t have time to research much but enough to realize that the private showing would be worthwhile and indeed a pretty special opportunity.

“Ladies and Gentleman, isn’t this a remarkable venue? We’ve had a wonderful day and our keynote presenter is likely to be icing on the cake.” The guy who agreed to make this introduction was someone from the KC chapter of the SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors). “Our SIOR chapter serving Western Missouri and Kansas maintains and promotes a professional designation of the highest quality for our members and clients. The SIOR designation stands unchallenged for excellence in the performance of real estate services, and is universally recognized as the prerequisite in the selection of a commercial real estate broker, agent, or consultant. As many of you know the museum itself has been a showcase for development and renewal. In that spirit we are happy to bring you best selling author Alan Edgewater.”  The audience applauded and it was showtime. Alan was on again.  .”

Alan was pretty happy with himself. The Kansas City audience was engaged. He could tell by the response to his jokes. He was happy with the A/V and his timing. He could tell by audience questions that his failure fans were still interested in his motivational philosophy and ready to buy into another book. He was impressed with the facility and glad he elected to drive to KC. It was going to be a long day but he was riding a wave.  

Prior to his introduction, his stroll around the grounds and through the gallery spaces at the museum was the right amount of time to be fresh and newly inspired. They sold no books at this event but plenty of people had copies they wanted Alan to sign: The first and second books in hard cover, a few paperbacks and even a couple of Abraham Lincoln as if designed by Push Pin Studios posters someone bought on-line. He was happy to sign away. He hadn’t heard from Tony Blank or anyone from Ambrosia, but they must have worked some magic to get this audience and this stunning venue. Alan was pumped. He felt like a rock star. He lingered until only a handful of people remained in the auditorium. His Escalade was ready for his exit. And he was off in an instant.

The 3 hours and 45 minute drive to Bentonville, Arkansas seemed to move by quickly since Alan used the time to listen to a CD recording of the seminar made for him by a local events management firm Ambrosia arranged to capture the event. Too bad Tony Blank did not appear in person. If he had, he might have recognized the evolution of book three was unfolding right there: Negative Space.

Alan thought about what he hoped to discuss with his publisher. He wanted to ask what they thought about offering Walmart a special deal, maybe a three book set: It isn't easy being anybody, You can’t give 110% and Negative Space (which had yet to be written/published). He knew, of course, this couldn’t happen in time for this holiday season but he wanted to plant the idea for next year. He hoped the publisher would think the idea was not only do-able but a great way to serve up a unique product to Walmart at a price point that would preserve the pricing elsewhere (bookstores and online). Alan was so pleased with his success in KC and this product idea he took a break from working in his car and enjoyed channel surfing local radio stations until he reached the Embassy Suites Hotel in Rogers, Arkansas. He checked in and used the couch in the suite to kick back and relax in front of a big screen TV tuned into CNN. He knew the following day, with the run to Bentonville Airport and on to Walmart Corporate Headquarters would be an experience. He did not want to set the agenda but he hoped that it would break down into short term goal to sell the first two books into Walmart (in some combination of hard cover and paperback) for Q4 and longer term a discussion about a three book package in a custom sleeve exclusively available at Walmart for maybe Q3 next year.      

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