View Full Version : A reader's take on book signings

07-24-2008, 09:05 PM
Up front, I'm not an author. Just a voracious reader. I've been to a number of book signings, some on purpose, some by chance. If it is an author I like and would buy the book anyway, I will go to the signing. I prefer to have a personalized inscription (but that may just be me), rather than a generic one done in advance. I always buy the book at the store, at the time of the signing. It is tacky to buy your book at 'mega-store' or 'major on-line bookseller' and then take it to your local independant bookstore to get it signed. This rule does not apply if it is an older book, no longer in the stores. If I expect an author to be popular, I don't take all 40 previous books with me to be signed. I was behind that person once, the author was gracious to a fault, but the 75 of us in line behind him were not happy. Being a shy and retiring person :snert:, if I see an author sitting there, alone and forlorn, I will go over to chat. Even if their book is not my cup of tea, I will talk with them for several minutes to encourage other shoppers to come over and see what is happening. And I have purchased books I never heard of, from authors I never heard of, because I stumbled on their signing. Two pieces of advice: 1) STAND UP, if there is a crowd at your table, you may sit for ease in signing, the crowd will generate interest. If you are there by your lonesome, no one will notice you if you are sitting there like a shrinking violet. 2) IX-NAY on the chocolate. Chocolate is messy. Hard candies are better, but get good ones. Not those ubiquitous red/white mints that all the restaurants have at the register.

Remember: All advice is worth the price charged.


07-24-2008, 09:23 PM
You are a shinning star in the firmament of authorial heaven lol!!!
You have probably saved many lonely authors from a depressive episode.
Signings and talks are great fun for me but there have been a few that were not hugely attended (Tess Gerritsen warned me about this)- it keeps you humble! I wish I was going to scottsdale next lol! As it is I'll be in Honolulu (August), Seattle (September) and then Miami (October)...
I usually bring macadamia nuts with me - is that okay?

07-24-2008, 09:44 PM
Macadamias are super. Especially since you are from Hawaii. If you get booked into metro Phoenix, let us know. There are several of us who would show up 'just because'.


07-24-2008, 10:15 PM
aw...that is very nice...
Actually I have a cousin in Phoenix who is always telling me to come out- I probably will this winter- & my husband travels there occasionally...

07-25-2008, 12:02 AM
Up front, I'm not an author. Just a voracious reader. . . . 2) IX-NAY on the chocolate. Chocolate is messy. Hard candies are better, but get good ones. Not those ubiquitous red/white mints that all the restaurants have at the register. . . .
Good and timely insight. Muchas gracias, as they say in my country (California). I am planning a signing in late October (Wyla the Witch, by Evelyn Swift; I'm the publisher), and plan to have treats and other attractions. Useful caution. (Standing vs. sitting will not be an issue in the particular circumstances, but still good to tuck aside for future reference.)


07-25-2008, 01:14 AM
Too bad, I was already in Phoenix, at Changing Hands in Tempe a couple of weeks ago. I believe it won an award for best indie from PW last year. I could see why: They promoted my event so well, I actually got emails from "fans" ahead of time, saying they'd already read the book and would be at the signing. (And, indeed, there were 30 people there.) One even offered to bring her black standard poodle (that's the type of poodle we have, see my subtitle below), as the store allows that. She did and it was heavenly to meet him (and everyone else, of course).

As if all that weren't enough, the store actually gives gifts to authors who do reading/signings there: a choice of a book, or a Changing Hands t-shirt that says, "Will work for books." I chose the latter, as I wanted to remember that special night.

We all should be so lucky to have 40 previous books in print, but that author should have asked the person to wait until everyone else got his or her sole book signed.

I don't bring food to signings, but since I do mine in tiara and boa, I have been known to bring boas for the ladies (and secure gentlement) in the crowd.

07-25-2008, 01:40 AM
Changing Hands is indeed legendary, at least in Arizona. Sorry I missed you, but I wasn't on the forums yet at that time. I just joined, um Monday? I would have made the trek if for no other reason than to see the tiara and boa.


07-25-2008, 01:49 AM
How 'bout a poodle in tiara and boa? :)

I haven't done a blog post yet about Changing Hands, but you can see another signing I did (at Celestial Seasonings) in full Queenly regalia here (http://www.doreenorion.com/blog/2008/07/a_celestial_day.html), if you like.