The book-signing was to start at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.
Three Betty Barr book lovers were at the doors to Pioneer Hall at the Sonoita fairgrounds when the author and her helpers arrived at 9:30 a.m. to set up for the signing of her latest work, “Around Sonoita.”
By 1 p.m. Barr had sold 69 copies of the book as well as several copies of her previous books. The final tally: 94 copies of “Around Sonoita” sold and 13 editions of her other books.
She signed them all. Carol Schmitt from High Noon, Tina Letarte of the Mini Mart and Susan McDonald of Buffalo Gals all reported brisk sales, Barr said.
Folks came from Nogales, Tucson, Patagonia, Elgin, Sierra Vista, Canelo, Rain Valley, and Vail for the signing. Barr added that several people called and reserved copies.
“We must have had at least 150 people come through the door,” Barr said. “I think people also enjoyed the opportunity to view the new history center (at Pioneer Hall) and meet Bob Bowman, who started collecting local histories years ago. “Around Sonoita” is dedicated to him.
Lupita Santillan from Nogales told Barr, "This is such a wonderful thing you are doing, preserving the past of this area."
Doug Robinson and Barbara Barkley from Sonoita leafed through their copies of the new book. "Doug and I are so thrilled,” Barbara said. “We both found pictures of our fathers in "Around Sonoita.” My dad was an extra in a John Wayne movie and Doug's managed the Circle Z Guest Ranch."
Barr sold the last copy of her first book, “Hidden Treasures of Santa Cruz County.” Total sales of the book hit 2,000 copies. Her second book, “More Hidden Treasures of Santa Cruz County” has sold nearly 1,000 copies, she said.
Barr’s first two books were self-published. Her success is the result of her ongoing efforts to promote her books”book signings, keeping her Web site up to date, networking with groups like the Cowbelles and running ads in local newspapers.
“Around Sonoita” has 215 black-and-white photos, which were obtained from pioneer families and local historical archives.
“Around Sonoita” is published by Arcadia Publishing and is available at www.arcadiapublishing.com for $21.99.