When Nick Offerman came to the University Book Store at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last month to promote his new book, his fans were excited, to say the least. “We told everyone they could pick up their tickets at 7:30 the morning of the reading, but we had people waiting long before that,” Marketing Supervisor Erin Lambert said. “The first row was filled up with hardcore fans from about 9 a.m. onward, even though the reading didn’t start till 12.”
The store promoted the signing event for “Gumption” mainly through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, resulting in a total turnout of about 300.
The staff was able to chat with the actor before and after the reading, and Lambert said everyone enjoyed meeting him.
Rose Malm, the store's sign specialist, agreed. “He was really gracious and nice,” she added. “Just down-to-earth and very funny.”
After Offerman read excerpts from his book, he tackled important questions from the audience. For example, what happened to his mustache?
“It took three questions to get to this burning topic,” he said. “I shaved my mustache many times for roles during the series of “Parks and Recreation” but now, for some reason, people seem puzzled by the headline: Character actor changes appearance.”
During the reading, the store sold around 300 copies of his book. As the fans lined up to get their books signed, Lambert said Offerman had an interesting request.
“He asked that no one take selfies when it was their turn to get their book signed,” she said. “Taking pictures down the line was completely fine, but since he wanted to interact with every person individually, having them turn their backs to take a picture would make that impossible.”
Make 'Em Believe
In addition to other events like their hugely successful Secret Sales, the University Book Store typically has three or four book signings a year.
“The coaches and players are always a big draw,” Lambert said. “Especially with the new book out.”
The new book in question is “Make ‘Em Believe” by Patrick Herb, about the remarkable 2015 season of the Badgers Men’s Basketball team. To further support the book, the store plans to host a signing later this month.