Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction Best Sellers List on Sunday, July 25. According to Nielsen BookScan, which accounts for about 70 percent of all books sold, it was the top-selling hardcover nonfiction best seller in the country that week. It also appeared on the USA Today Best- Selling Books list that was released on July 15. That list includes all fiction and nonfiction books, including both hardcover and soft cover titles. This is very exciting news!
I had to opportunity to spend the day with Drew Brees during the Lafayette and West Lafayette, IN leg of his book tour, and I thought I’d share some of my experience.
Friday July 9th
I arrived at Tyndale where I picked up Christy Wong, we immediately headed to Starbucks. The SUV I rented had a full tank of gas, but our brains still needed the caffeine boost.
6:45 AM CST
We entered Indiana and began to notice the increasing number of country music stations.
We arrived in Lafayette and headed to Meijer, where the 11:00 AM signing would be taking place. We wanted to see if they had a table set up yet, and if anyone was in line. Not only did they have a large area roped off and a table, but the line already spanned the entire length of the store. The people in the front of the line looked like they had been there all night; they had pajamas and sleeping bags.
9:15 AM EST
Christy and I left Meijer to explore the town and the route to the second bookstore. West Lafayette seemed like a cool college town (i.e. they have a Chick-fil-A). Despite all of the construction, it was pretty easy to navigate our way around.
9:45 AM EST
I dropped Christy off at Meijer and journeyed to the hotel to pick up Drew, Chris (Drew’s marketing agent and foundation rep.), and Todd (Tyndale’s public relations manager).
10:30 AM EST
I arrived at the hotel and picked up the guys. We drove through some construction, past Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, and chatted about recent sports news. When we arrived at the Meijer, I felt like I was in the secret service. Not only was I driving a large black SUV with tinted windows, but I got to pull up to the back of the store to a hidden entrance.
11:00 AM EST
After some quick interviews, Drew began signing books, he is a true pro. Drew signed almost 2000 books in two hours, stopping only once for a quick TV interview.
After the crowd dispersed, we headed to the back of the store so drew could sign some books for the Meijer employees and do another quick interview.
We departed Meijer and headed to our next destination. There was some construction, and because Drew had lived in Lafayette during his time at Purdue, he was going to lead me to the next book signing. He ended up leading me straight to a Jimmy John’s instead. After a quick sub (we all got the #9) we were on our way.
2:00 PM EST
We arrived at the already packed Follett Purdue West bookstore, and were greeted with another back entrance and a cheering crowd. After yet another interview, and a breather, Drew began signing books. Follett had a really great system for managing the large crowd. The staff put people in labeled groups of 50, this allowed people to continue to browse the store while they waited for their group letter to be called.
Drew, Chris, and Todd had a plane to catch at the Purdue airport across the street, but there were still about 50 people in line. Drew then kicked it in to over drive and signed the last 50 books in what appeared to be some sort of super human one continuous motion. After a quick picture with some Tyndale staff, we hopped in the car and headed towards the air port. I was given the privilege of driving on the runway right up to the plane to make the loading of luggage easier. I then dropped the guys off, shook hands and I was on my way.
4:50 PM EST
I picked Christy up at the bookstore, and we were on our way. An hour into our trip I pulled into a gas station to fill up. When I got out of the truck I noticed the air rushing out of one of the back tires. After we were finally able to get a hold of someone to come out and fix the tire, we treated ourselves to some ice cream and were thankful the flat didn’t come earlier in the day.
Four weeks after its release, Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees continues to sell very well. Tyndale has been blessed time and time again with the opportunity to help spread people’s stories of life, love, and faith, and this book is no exception.