Allegra Goodman

Author Allegra Goodman will be at The Book Shop in Beverly Farms on Tuesday, January 10 to discuss, read from, and sign her new book, “SAM,” which was just published. (Courtesy photo)

At a trade show for the publishing industry this past fall, I entered a ballroom lined with tables, and at each table sat an author with their new book stacked in front of them.  Beside them stood their handlers: publicists or sales reps from their publishing companies.  And in the center of the room milled booksellers with drinks in hand, delighted to be in each other’s company after two years without in-person contact.  So delighted, in fact, that many eschewed the opportunity to walk up to the authors and say hello — or take a copy of their book, which by now would weigh down an already full suitcase and might prove cumbersome on the walk to the dinner to follow.

I felt similarly, but I have also been on the other side of the table, not as an author, but as the handler sent by the publisher.  I know how it feels to stand there, desperate to keep the author occupied, to fill their time, make it worth their while, prove how well their book is going to do, allay their fears, feed their ego.

The Bookshop is located on the corner of Oak and West Streets in Beverly Farms. Hannah can be reached at (978) 927-2122 or visit the shop's website at