Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A case of the first date---er, first signing---jitters

This is a picture of the line at a Sarah Palin book signing. You've all seen images like this in the movies or perhaps you've even been a patient fan in a line like this. Well, starting this month I will be sitting behind a book signing table with pen poised and fresh copies of Growing Up Gracie at hand. And let me be the first to report, I feel like a 16-year-old girl nervously waiting for her first date to drive up.

Will he like me? Will I look cute? Will he even show up? How will my parents embarrass me? Well, maybe not that one.

I've never been a part of a book signing--from either side of the table--so I'd love some feedback here. I've read all the publisher-created ideas for making book signings successful, but I'd love to hear your input.

From my writer friends who've been in the trenches: What worked? What bombed? How did you get people to attend when all your buddies have already bought your book?

And from my reader friends: What do you enjoy at a signing? What gets you off the couch and to the bookstore? And what can an author do to make themselves approachable at the store?

Help a girl out here... I only have a first date once!

My two signings are scheduled for The Brass Plates LDS Bookstore in Spokane Valley on January 22 from 2-4 and at Aunties Bookstore in downtown Spokane on February 18th at 7.

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Tristi Pinkston said...

The first thing to remember is, this is a party to celebrate your accomplishment - have fun with it! Be proud of what you've done and don't feel hesitant to feel joy about it.

And remember, even if you don't sell anything, as long as you have made a connection with the bookstore employees and handed out some literature, you've done a good job.

Cheryl said...

I agree with Tristi. Don't sweat it. Making those connections is most important. When I held my first book signing in November, I sent a blurb to our local weekly paper. They ended up doing an interview with me about my book that appeared two weeks before Christmas.

I only sold six copies of my book at the signing, but I talked to some nice people, handed out a few business cards, and gave away candy canes. It was a fun.

Good luck!