Friday, July 17 – 1:10 p.m. ET
Yesterday was yet another remarkable day on the The Winners Manual publicity and book signing tour. We began the day in Coach Tressel’s old stomping ground of Youngstown, Ohio, in the southeast corner of the state (Youngstown is actually only a little over an hour from Pittsburgh). Coach Tressel won four I-AA national championships at Youngstown State, so to say that Youngstown rolls out the red carpet is certainly an understatement. The signing in Youngstown was at a Barnes & Noble store and fans actually began forming a line for the signing the night before. Yes, people waited in line overnight to get their book signed by Coach Tressel. You just can’t say enough about the passion of OSU fans.
It was a fun morning for Coach Tressel. After knocking out some media responsibilities he began the signing and saw lots of familiar faces. Before the signing even began the Tyndale team came through again by hand delivering another shipment of books to make certain that the store had enough copies on hand for anyone who wanted to purchase the book. The fun thing about the fans this morning was that there was a great mix of both Youngstown State Penguins fans, as well as OSU fans. In all, Coach Tressel signed about 1,200 books and met about 600 fans. You can tell why Coach Tressel is such a great recruiter. He has a great sense of humor and can very quickly engage with fans. You can tell that he has a great affinity for young people, often asking college age students if they attended Ohio State, their major, and other things to quickly connect with the fan. He also has incredible visual recall, remembering people and where he met them often years after having met them previously.
Upon the completion of the Youngstown signing, we drove toward the south Cleveland/Akron area to Copley, Ohio, for a book signing at a Berean Christian Store. Berean really had its act together. Amy LeVan, the marketing manager for Berean Christian Stores is based in Lexington and she came to Cleveland for the signings. Amy does tremendous work and the store was very well prepared. She had great help from the stores managerial staff. The air conditioning was cranking and the line was fast-flowing. Prior to the signing, Coach Tressel did a phone interview with ESPN Radio for its Tirico and VanPelt Show, which was hosted yesterday by Scott VanPelt and Kirk Herbstreit. Following the radio interview, Coach did a one-on-one radio interview with Jordan Sherwood of WKNR in Cleveland, as well as a sitdown interview with a Cleveland network affiliate. Following the radio responsibilities, Coach Tressel had a meet-in-greet with several Berean consumers. Again, Coach Tressel signed about 900 books at Berean and even finished a few minutes early.
Following the signing in Copley, we drove to a Borders in northwestern suburban Cleveland. Like the store in Youngstown, people began arriving to get their tickets for the signing at the Borders in Westlake more than 12 hours before the beginning of the signing. Again, Coach Tressel ran into a number of former friends, coaches (his former high school basketball coach was in attendance), players, and teachers. One thing that Coach Tressel did find out is that many people in Ohio have dogs named Tressel. Following the signing, Coach Tressel signed some photos for the families of several police officers who assisted us with the signing and we were on our way to Columbus.
One of the things about the pace of these book signing tours is that it’s difficult to find time to eat. I don’t think Coach, Carol Traver, or I ate either breakfast or lunch yesterday. Coach did eat a sandwich and a smoothie prior to the evening signing and Carol and I spent $6.70 combined on a stop at Taco Bell following the signing. At least it will look good on the expense account. Pretty much you don’t eat, and then you eat junk which you eat way too fast because you are used to working at such a fast pace. Coach Tressel jokes that he will be glad when the tour ends so he can go back to work and relax. We all know that Coach Tressel works extremely long days so he is joking, but I think he was a little surprised by the demanding nature of a book tour of this intensity.
The Winners Manual is still holding strong sales momentum, ranking No. 45 on Amazon and No. 15 on Barnes & Noble.
Coach Tressel is off the tour today and the tour concludes tomorrow, Saturday, with a three-hour signing at a Barnes & Noble in Pickerington, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. Coach Tressel will have a chance to sign nearly 2,000 copies of The Winners Manual tomorrow morning. If he doesn’t sign that many he’ll come awfully close.