View Full Version : My first book signing

03-16-2006, 04:15 AM
Well, sort of. I actually had signed books at two different special events, but this would be the first at a book store:

Author discusses and signs The Pacific Between.

Friday, March 24, 7 p.m.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Streets of Westchester
9455 Civic Centre Blvd
West Chester, OH 45069

03-16-2006, 04:27 AM
Man, Ray, that is so cool. I wish I could come down and harrass you. Congrats.

03-16-2006, 04:56 AM
You KNOW we're gonna want pictures, bro. I hope your arm ends up numb from signing!

03-16-2006, 06:36 AM
That gives me plenty of time to hitchhike out, snag a shopping cart for my things, and start stalking you, until by the time I shove that book at you and demand a signature, you'll be trembling a little, realizing you've been seeing me for days...

Really, Ray, that's great. I have family in Ohio--where's West Chester? Maybe I shall send an emissary!

Maryn, pleased in your behalf

03-16-2006, 07:10 AM
Have a GREAT time! Enjoy yourself.

03-16-2006, 07:30 AM
West Chester is just north of Cincinnati.

I hope to sell more than 1 book. Do you think it would happen?

03-16-2006, 07:38 AM
Ray, am very excited for you! Such a shame I'm all the way over here...

03-16-2006, 07:46 AM
WooHoo!!! Wish I was closer so I could visit, Ray!! Have lots of fun, sell lots of books, and sort of like ChunkyC said, I hope your arm falls off from signing so many books!!! :kiss:

Anya Smith
03-16-2006, 08:01 AM
That's great!! Take a couple of waldo arms.

03-16-2006, 08:05 AM
I signed my checkbook, just today.


03-16-2006, 04:40 PM
I forge all of the signatures in copies of books I have. I use the same formula "Dear Os, Thanks for everything, you're the best. John Grisham (or corresponding author)"
That way I don't need to go to the book signing. Saves time for everyone.


03-16-2006, 04:48 PM
Felicitations, old scout! Hurrah! I hope you sell squillions and squash us all like bugs.

Have some Skyline Chili or something for me while you're there. Oh - and if you see a woman about 5', wavy brown hair, and a voice like Lisa Simpson, ask her if she still has that Royal Crescent Mob tape. Tell her to buy three books; I'll pay her back.

03-16-2006, 04:54 PM
I'd go . . . if I didn't live in the middle of NOWHERE. :flag: I hope you post pictures up somewhere! :)

03-16-2006, 05:13 PM
Best of luck with it, Ray. Let us know how it turns out. Maybe you'll even snag a groupie or two. We really want pictures of that...

03-16-2006, 07:03 PM
Rock on!

03-16-2006, 08:03 PM
Thank you much. We'll see how it goes. I might end up sitting there all by myself the entire evening, then drown myself with a few bottles of bourbon afterwards.

03-16-2006, 09:45 PM
I've never held a book signing (I hear it has to be your own book, darn the luck), but I know of authors who hold duel signings even though their books aren't going to appeal to the same audience, or who bring a friend, spouse, student, or colleague solely so they don't end up smiling vacantly at no one for several hours.

Not that that's going to happen to you, of course--but a buddy might be great to have along.

Maryn, who'd come be your buddy if it was closer

03-16-2006, 09:52 PM

You'll do great. We'll all be there in spirit, if not in flesh.

Hug for good luck,

03-16-2006, 09:52 PM
Thank you much. We'll see how it goes. I might end up sitting there all by myself the entire evening, then drown myself with a few bottles of bourbon afterwards.

Oh you will not. You'll have lots of people. And man, you'll be covered in women. Just look at the HOL. You're dripping with them. It'll be great. Here's to your pen running out before the evening's up.


03-16-2006, 10:00 PM
That is exciting - I'm so pleased for you!

03-17-2006, 01:44 AM
Congrats - and good luck!

03-17-2006, 05:28 AM
Congrats, Ray! Hope all goes well for you.

Have you seen JA Konrath's advice about signings? It's here:


Scroll down a bit to find the relevant section. It's well worth reading, IMO.

Cathy C
03-17-2006, 05:36 AM
I'd stop by, Ray, but I'm not sure how I'd be able to make it to my own signing the next morning in Texas. :roll:

Good luck, have FUN, and we'll expect pictures! :Hug2:

03-19-2006, 09:58 AM
Thanks!! :) I'm nervous, I admit. Today I went to meet a store manager at Barnes & Noble and saw my books on a display table at the ENTRANCE of the store. Nice! But I started to get butterflies in my stomach -- what if I suck? Then I saw a patron picking up the book and looking through it! Then... she put it back down and walked away. I know, I know! Still, I got these knots in my stomach. It's weird. At least people noticed the damn book.

So who knows? :)

BTW, anyone who's already gotten my book, please let me know if you want a book plate. I'll send one to you.


03-19-2006, 10:08 AM
I had a weird encounter this evening. I was on another board and I posted my signing notice a few days ago. Someone just wrote:

"Someone I know read this book, and I just now found out YOU wrote it!"

How cool is that? A total stranger. That's just far out.


03-19-2006, 11:26 AM
BTW, anyone who's already gotten my book, please let me know if you want a book plate. I'll send one to you.

Cool! Uhhh, but what is a book plate?

03-19-2006, 06:20 PM
BTW, anyone who's already gotten my book, please let me know if you want a book plate. I'll send one to you.


My book hasn't. come. in. yet. (Arrrrggggghhh!)

But when it does, I'll want a book plate.

Louis, a book plate is a sticky label type thing you can put in your book if you can't get to the author to get the book signed. The author signs the plate instead, and mails it to you.

03-19-2006, 06:36 PM
Ray, I'm so happy for you! I thoroughly enjoyed the book. :)

Have FUN! And take deep breaths... ;)


03-19-2006, 07:43 PM
I was looking something up at Amazon, nothing to do with Ray or the Pacific or anything, and it recommended Ray's book to me. I thought that was pretty cool! Especially considering the eclectic nature of the stuff I look up there, since I use it more as a fast book-and-music reference than a place to buy stuff.

Maryn, who read the Konrath article and realizes she has the soul of an introvert

03-20-2006, 02:06 AM
A book plate! What's that? As louis said...

Nice ray. I live by a Barnes and Noble distribution center in Reno. Getting the book in about two weeks. I want a book plate. Get with you later on that.


03-20-2006, 03:59 PM
I had a weird encounter this evening. I was on another board and I posted my signing notice a few days ago. Someone just wrote:

"Someone I know read this book, and I just now found out YOU wrote it!"

How cool is that? A total stranger. That's just far out.


That's so GREAT! I love hearing stories like this! :hooray:

03-25-2006, 09:51 PM

The signing went very well. I was nervous, obviously, but I eased into it with a few minutes. The store manager was so nice and she made me feel very welcome, and she was extremely helpful. My table was set up right by the front door -- prime location. Big posters and everything. For 1 second I felt like a celebrity, then I realized, it was just a frigging book signing and nobody knew who I was and they never heard of my book. But within the 15 minutes, I sold the first book. It was funny though. The guy came up to the table and asked me what the book was about, then he quickly grabbed one and disappeared. Then later, his girlfriend came back and asked me to sign the book for him. What was that about?

But throughout the night, traffic was a little slow, except for lots of teenagers. It was a Friday night, after all. There were mostly retail shops and a movie theatre nearby, so there were mostly teenagers and people coming and going between movies. So the crowd wasn't totally "book lovers." The manager was very motherly -- she kept asking me if I was okay, knowing that it was my first book store signing. I told her I was having fun.

I was there for slightly over 2 hours, and I sold 6 books. Yeah, it's not that many, but hey, that's six books that wouldn't have been sold otherwise. And according to her, they sold two before the signing, so altogether, 8 sold. It's not that bad. I suppose I could have sold a couple more if I had stayed for another 2 hours. She wanted me to sign the stock and said that she never returned books so they would continue to sell the books and may have me come back for another signing. I guess they liked me.

It was fun. But I was mentally exhausted afterwards. But I felt good even though I didn't sell a billion books. It was my first real solo signing, and it was a good experience, especially meeting some really nice people. It helped me out of my shell.

03-26-2006, 12:04 AM

Glad things went well, Ray. And if you sold six books you wouldn't have sold otherwise, and those six buyers like it and tell two or three other people each...

Well, you get the idea.
Plus, I don't know of many books in my local bookstore that even have that many copies in stock, so that your bookstore has more, and is willing to sell them 'till they're gone is awesome.

03-26-2006, 12:29 AM
But they have a WHOLE table of Dan Brown's novels at the front of the store. Kind of made me sick. :) Then again, during the two hours I was there, nobody picked up any. LOL. (Someone did pick up a copy of "The Secret Supper" -- a Da Vinci Code knock-off).

03-26-2006, 01:00 AM
Ray, Congrats! I am glad you had fun. I am waiting for my book to come and will borrow my friends copy if it does not hurry up and get here. She bought it and was telling me how great it was. Take a deep breath Ray, they like it, they really like it!!

03-26-2006, 01:18 AM
Yeah, I had fun, even though I only got to stand around and smile a lot (because I wasn't allowed to "solicit" patrons).

It's all about attitude, I guess. The manager told me, in disdain, that a "best selling author" came to the store recently for a reading/signing and they set him up nicely and about 20-30 people showed up -- a good crowd for the area. But the guy turned to her and said, "Is that all? This is the smallest signing I ever went to." I guess he expected line control. The manager told me she didn't like the guy at all, no matter how many books he sold. Yeah, I want to be rich and famous, but I don't ever want to be that arrogant.

My advice to other authors: be nice, personable and friendly. Be humble. The manager liked me enough that she was going to keep my book on the table for a few more weeks. I mean, I'll have a whole table for my books in a better spot than Dan Brown. Needless to say, I was tickled.

03-26-2006, 01:34 AM
Here's info on my next signing. If you're in the area, come see me!

Saturday, April 8, 2 p.m.

Waldenbooks, Ross Park Mall
1000 Ross Park Mall Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

I'll bring cookies.

Christine N.
03-26-2006, 04:42 PM
Wow, Ray, we seem to have the same book signing schedule! That's my next signing too.

Are you sure we don't have the same publicist?? LOL And my publisher is in Pittsburgh...

Good luck. I'll also be in a big city mall that day, across the state in Philly.

Yeah, bring stuff for the staff, they like that :) I also had root beer barrels on my table. Mmmm.... root beer barrels.

03-26-2006, 06:40 PM
That's too funny, Christine. We should start a PA rally...

I brought the staff cookies and they loved it. But I also brought too much stuff and I filled the table to the brim with bookmarks, flyers and what not. The problem is that I couldn't "solicit" anyone so all I could do was nod and smile and unless someone came by the table, I couldn't really go up to them (it's against the rule to "solicit" anyone). But the kids love the candy! They just won't buy any books. ;)

03-26-2006, 07:05 PM
Awesome, Ray. This is soooo cool!

03-27-2006, 12:50 AM
Sounds like great fun - and six books is six books. From little acorns, great oak trees grow.

Jean Marie
03-27-2006, 04:30 AM
Far out for you, Ray http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/smilehooray.gif That is so very cool! I'm thrilled for you. Really am. I've done 2 author roundtables and they're a blast and a half. And then some. I agree w/ you on the arrogant part too. There was a guy at the one last week w/ me, and, well, yeah...not pretty. 20 people in the audienc, more than enough for me.

Ray, it's all about having fun, and that's what you said you had http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif

03-27-2006, 07:51 AM
Hey, if you can't have fun doing it, then it's not worth doing.

03-28-2006, 03:03 AM
Hey, if you can't have fun doing it, then it's not worth doing.Excellent news, that!

Maryn, who won't be cleaning the toilet again

03-28-2006, 03:06 AM
Don't worry, I haven't cleaned my toilet in years either.