The latest independent bookstore added to former President Bill Clinton's My Life (Knopf) book tour schedule is Book Revue, Long Island's largest independent bookstore, in Huntington, New York.
Co-owner Richard Klein said he was informed on Thursday, July 29, that Clinton would be visiting his store August 7 at 1:00 p.m. Clinton has agreed to sign 1,000 books, according to Klein. Already, 700 have been sold, with another 300 due in this week. "We'll sell the rest first thing tomorrow morning when we get them," he said. "We could have sold another 10,000."
Klein told BTW that he had believed it was likely that Clinton would be visiting Book Revue. "We were told [by Random House] that we had a good shot," he said. "But he'll be touring through October or November, so I thought he'd come here in the fall." Instead, last Thursday, two secret service agents arrived, beginning the process of securing the location for Clinton's arrival -- Klein's first notification. Surprised, he called to confirm with Random House.
The reason Book Revue was selected, speculated Klein, was that the bookstore, which is about an hour from New York City, had held many large-scale signings, including Senator Hillary Clinton's last year, and the store has a reputation of handling large crowds smoothly. Founded in 1977, Book Revue has amassed quite a bit of experience with author signings. "We have a whole system developed over the
years we've been doing this," Klein said. "We have different setups for different events, and we tweak according to the circumstances."
Though crowd control and working with famous bestselling authors may be old hat for Book Revue, it doesn't mean the bookstore is blasé about the event. Klein reported that the staff was "excited, but tense." And he has his own pre-event jitters. "It's like giving a party. There's a certain amount of anxiety. But I've been there before so I've had a lot of training. That helps."
Overall, Klein said he was eager to shake hands and have a word or two with the man who led the country for eight years. "I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It'll be fun. It's not everyday you get to meet a president."
To check for new stores added to the My Life book tour, check the Knopf Web site at http://www.randomhouse.com/knopf/clinton/tour.html. --Karen Schechner