Book Signings–A Love-Hate Relationship

Book signings, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Um. Er. Let me think.

Okay, I love meeting fans. Or even people who might one day be fans. Or people who smile at me before they head for the mystery section. Even people who avoid my gaze as they pass by.

I did have the good fortune at my recent Barnes & Noble signing to meet a few young girls I wanted to be my new best friends. One of them thoroughly checked out my book, but said no thank you (gotta respect someone who knows what they like). One chatted away as comfortably as any adult about how she loved to read and that even though she’s only ten, she reads at a 7th grade level and wants to read Tankborn and plans to buy it as an e-book (I gave her an autographed bookmark as a reminder). Then a third whose Mom seemed more taken with Tankborn than her dubious daughter. Mom bought it, which was great. I hope they both read it.

But I always have these pipe dreams about hordes of readers beating down the door to meet me and buy my book personally autographed to them. The reality was a handful of my good friends who had come to support me (and a few bought the book–thank you!) and a few other brave souls who didn’t know me but took a chance on Tankborn. Plus, nobody asked me where the bathroom was and that’s always a good thing.

I also got to meet an author I hadn’t known before (Joanne Rocklin, who signed her book One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street). I got to read a Peter Rabbit book to a group of kids during storytime, with Peter Rabbit himself sitting beside me. And since my book signing had coincided with a “book fair” (a fundraiser), I supported a couple of local schools.

So what do you all think? Authors–are book signings worth the effort? Readers–do you ever go out of your way to attend a book signing so you can meet an author (other than a superstar author)?

I’m thinking the answer is no, but just like chocolate, I somehow just can’t seem to give them up.

About karensandler

Lover of chocolate. A couple felines short of full-fledged Cat Lady. Author of the YA Tankborn Trilogy (TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION), from Tu Books. Founding team member of We Need Diverse Books. Opinions expressed here are my own.
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3 Responses to Book Signings–A Love-Hate Relationship

  1. anankaf says:

    I think it’s hard until you get a following, then the following brings their friends. You have to kind of hope you never get the kind of following that Neil Gaiman has, or even Scott Westerfeld, signing for 2 hours or more (Neil sometimes signs until the wee hours of the morning). I think a lot of authors do find it fulfilling and eventually you meet enough people that the word goes out.

    This is the first time I’ve read your posts. Do you ever blog for fans (rather than other authors)? I see that as a good way to grow your fan base and get the word out about signings.

  2. Thanks for keep it real. Keep pushing through. Eventually, the word will get out, and more people will check out Tankborn. I look forward to meeting you in Davis. The Avid Reader is the place to check out. Will spread the word… Best wishes to TANKBORN.

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