The Dreaded Book Signing
Posted by eemoxam
I made a quick run to Chapters (insert laughter here) a few Saturdays ago to pick up one magazine (more laughter). The store was busy, as it always seems to be and I was on an in and out mission, so I strode confidently in and toward the magazine section. That’s pretty much where the mission falls apart.
On my confident, purposeful path to the magazines, I noticed an author table to my right, away from the centre aisle near the Starbucks. I was walking too quickly to see who the author was or what the book was, but my little writer antennae started wobbling. There was an author, a table with his books and that was all. No line ups out the door, just a dude and his coffee. I noted that he was standing.
I predictably enough got lost in the magic that is a bookstore and wandered around like a giddy lunatic for an hour until my arms were laden with hardcovers. Between that and my gigantic purse that I can’t successfully downsize, I was getting pretty tired, so I headed over to the checkout. That’s when I remembered author and looked over. Yep, he was still there all right, with his coffee, all by himself, standing. I went over. Here is a summary of our conversation:
Me, nodding to his book because I don’t have a free arm: “Is this your book?” (Oh, the insight, good job.)
Author: “Why yes, it certainly is.” (He balances one on top of my book pile for me to look at)
Me, looking at it: “That’s awesome. What is it about?”
Here the author gave me a pretty decent elevator pitch that I don’t recall well enough to recount. He was prepared though, that was what was good, he had it ready.
Me: “Sounds interesting. Is it your first book?”
Author, smiling: “The first one published, yes.”
Me, smiling back: “I’ve only published short so far. How does it feel?”
Author, really smiling: “Awesome. Writing it was the easy part, it’s the publishing that’s hard.”
Me: “Is it worth it?”
Author, nodding: “It’s pretty cool to see it in print, yes.”
He made some observations about the books I was carrying and we had a discussion about Abebooks. He was very polite, well-groomed without looking like he was trying too hard and engaged me in conversation. I might be getting ahead of myself here, but I both crave and dread the book signing, so this was a cool experience for me. I thought he did a lot of things right when I approached him, I suppose it’s getting people to approach you that’s the hard part. I have every intention of paying my family and friends to rotate through the store at my first book signing so I look like someone important, and I am okay with that.
I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s up next after the last installment of the millenium trilogy. In case you’re curious, the author was Sean M. Douglas and his first book is From Storm Clouds Come Angels. I’ll do a review here when I’m finished.
*In the interest of full disclosure, it was not a quick run to Chapters. I forgot to buy the magazine I went in for and came out with four books instead that cost about a hundred bucks. I live with a great deal of shame.
- What I Would Do To Sell My Book (thelintinmypocket.wordpress.com)
- No Bookstore Around — You can Still Have a Signing! (canblog.typepad.com)