In between eating bon-bons and going to red carpet events with my peeps (HA!) thought I’d blog today about the Real Life of an author.
Ever buy something and be told “Easy to assemble” and “No trouble to carry along” and actually believe them? Don’t. People lie. Especially people who want to sell you something.
Case in point:
I bought banners that are about 1-1/2′ by 3′ for each of my novels. Thought they’d be great to stand or hang one behind me at speaking and booksigning events. For the first two books, I didn’t have a metal stand–I used the super-sticky plastic foldover holes the printer provided with the banners and hung whichever banner I wanted using removeable hooks. Worked fine, but I had to make sure I was positioned near a wall with the kind of backing to which the 3M hooks stuck/unstuck well.
So, I decided to buy the metal stand recommended and sold by the same printer to hold my banners. Beside the afore mentioned “easy assembly” and “no trouble to carry” lines, I was also told this stand was perfect to hold one banner of my choice, and “ideal for show and presentation.” Easy, light, perfect for my needs–what could go wrong?
Yesterday, I found out.
I began assembling the stand for the first time. Easy instructions–they actually gave me both full sentences and drawings, not just stick figure pictures. The stand was taller than I’d planned, as it was made to accommodate banners as small as mine and up to twice the size as the ones I’d chosen. That gave me a moment of hesitation, because I couldn’t shorten the back rod. But I realized the device would easily show most of the banner above my head when I was seated at a signing table, or keep everything at eye level if I was standing to speak, so I kept an open mind.
Until I loaded the banner.
No hooks this time. Just nice skinny little aluminum and plastic rods that stretch as long as the width of the banner and anchor the top and bottom, then the rods clip to the display stand. Used the dining room table as a flat surface and put the rods onto each end of the banner. The tension didn’t really clip the banner super tightly, but I figured that was so there was no risk of a crease made into the graphic. So far, so good.
I gathered the banner and rods in my self-satisfied arms and headed back to my office where the stand awaited.
The banner displayed beautifully–for a nano second.
Then the top of the banner slid out of the top rod, and as it flipped to the ground the bottom of the banner slipped out of its rod.
I thought it just needed more width banner-wise, so I added a second banner behind the first and tried a double thickness. That clipped somewhat tighter, but when I pulled on one side the banners still slipped easily from the clip. Three banners were too bulky–and too heavy for the clip/rod anyway–and slipped out before I could even attempt to hook the top rod to the stand.
Which leaves me with a sad little stand that kind of looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and four book cover banners again hanging on my wall with the more successful plastic sticky-holes and 3M removable hooks.
I’ll try again–likely by adding some 3M removeable squares inside the wimpy clip mechanism so they hold the banner while the rods just sit around and look pretty. Luckily, I’m a firm believer in keeping a ready supply of 3M removeable products and replenish supplies regularly. Just have to remember to always take them along wherever I go.
On the other hand, maybe this stand thought it was just going to sit around and eat bon-bons. Someone has to maintain the image 🙂
What about you? Have you bought some “easy to assemble and/or perfect to use” item that didn’t live up to the salesman’s pitch? Would love to hear your story. Feel free to add it in the comments!