Just What REALLY Goes On At A Book Signing?

I have been privileged to participate in several book signings.  Alas, I am not published (enough), or famous (at all), so I am not blessed with the 1 to 2 major signings that other authors enjoy.  These accomplished writers might show up once a year in Manhattan, sign books out to a healthy queue of people, and return to their writing caves to crank out another best seller.  This is not me.

But  THIS  in me . . .

But THIS is . . .

However, I do enjoy my book signings immensely.  Which is good since I have so darn many of them.  I have also learned many things at my book signings.  I have learned how to act, how not to act.  For example, I have learned to station someone – anyone – at my table while I go to the bathroom, lest people think ‘Book Signing’ are the words for ‘Please Take One’ in Urdu.  Another example:  I have learned to make eye contact with people that pass by the table.  Only then do they realize that I am not a United Way Fund Drive or there to do a free cholesterol screening.

It is also important to have a clean, professional looking display . . . such as these women have . . .

Here we have Eunice Siefker (author of The Crocodile Song), and Debi Grimm (illustrator of childrens’ books), along with their wonderful display.  Not only are the books easy to see, they have an eye-catching banner and poster.  However, what REALLY goes on behind the scenes?  How can authors and illustrators sit for hours at a time, looking cheerful, professional, and just so inviting?

They do whatever it takes.  Here – BEHIND the scenes – we have beverages, lipstick, cell phones, pen, paper, and event planners.  Hidden food also helps immensely. . . as long as one picks the spinach from one’s Spanokopita from one’s front teeth.  Visitors, family, and conversations with readers that stop by one’s table keep things interesting.  Favorite babies also help.  Here we have Debi with her grandson, Zoen Ezra . . .

Even if one is merely pumping gas bubbles from a helpless infant behind the professional looking display, it lends a touch of  liveliness to the signing.  (Rather like cocking a loaded gun at a fun fair, though the only prizes are strange noises from behind the book stacks –  and, eventually, soiled pants.) 

Even though book signings are strangely tiring (I say ‘strangely’ because I have yet to understand why sitting down and having fun can be so exhausting), I am THOROUGHLY enjoying myself. 


!!! DON’T FORGET !!!  Register on this Web site for a chance to win a free copy of my soon-to-be-released second book, ‘The Doll In The Wall’.  The drawing will be held November 7th.  To register, merely comment on a blog or in the community forums.  To comment on a blog, click on the blue circle at the end of the blog you wish to comment on, enter your name and email (email will remain confidential), write whatever you wish, and submit.  To comment in the community forums, check the right side of the Web page for where to click.  It’s easy. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

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0 Responses to Just What REALLY Goes On At A Book Signing?

  1. Great stuff! I’ve thought about self-publishing some JFK stuff. I may pick your brain more deeply. It looks like you’ve succeeded nicely.

  2. thea says:

    Thank you, Ron :0)
    Pick away!

  3. Pepper Smith says:

    I understand that you should always ask where the bathroom is when you arrive for your book signing. Apparently a lot of folks think you’re there solely to direct them to the facilities.

    Not that I know from personal experience or anything.

  4. thea says:

    Nope… haven’t had that one yet.

  5. wow! how great it was to hear from you and randy. it’s funny and i told him that i have been thinking about you guys lately, i don’t know why and then out of the blue you or i should say randy called. and of course i remember you guys. you’re two of my favorite people in west fork. can you believe that lou and i will be married 9 yrs. this nov.? time flys by. and i have to say, you fulfilling a dream i’ve had but wondered if it would be worth it, to write childrens books. how hard is it to get something published? i’d love to chat with you more, you have my #, call any time. my cell is 417- 274-2774. we are leaving for florida sunday nov. 1, for a month. but call me. i’m very, very proud of you, way to go! you guys deserve a break, and i hope this leads you to whatever you needed to help you serve jehovah better. i can relate about the tech. thank goodness, i had kids or i would have been more lost than i am. i have a mp3 player and i’m totaly amazed by it, and i just got a ds, thanks to my boys, who by the way, are 17,and15, i couldn’t figure it out. and i could go onand on,but i know you already know what i’m saying,. well i have to get ready for meeting, i’ll visit with you later. much love to both of you.stay in touch. this was such a nice surprise today!