Book signings are a great way for the public to meet authors and for authors to interact with their adoring (or not so adoring) public. Below you’ll find some of my “favorite” quips, comments, and questions from folks who’ve come either by choice or happenstance to my book booth.
- “So, can I get this book online?” or better: “Is your book on Kindle?” Well, of course. But I’m the author right here, right now, set up to actually sell my books in person, so, you know, I can make a living. I even brought bookmarks and snacks! I can autograph your copy for you, and who knows? It might actually be worth something to you if …a). I become the next Harper Lee or E.L. James b). the book becomes an Oscar-nominated film or made-for-TV special c). I get hit by a bus and achieve posthumous acclaim.
- “Is this the ONLY thing you’ve written?” Cue Harper Lee. I have serious reservations about Go Set a Watchman. I naturally lean toward the snarky side, so I have to “smile and wave” on this little gem as I silently ask the fine patron how many novels he/she has drafted, revised, queried, edited, revamped, published, marketed, and hauled over cripple creation all while teaching full-time, coaching, and raising four children. How fortunate that my sophomore novel is now in its final birth-throes. Woo hoo!
- “I have a story. Will your publisher take me since he took you?” I just ignore the backdoor insult, gender bias, and assumption that publishing a novel is akin to obtaining a library card and head straight for their story. I’ll ask a couple of questions to determine (almost invariably) that their novel exists either entirely in their heads or has enough actual written content to fill 3 and a half post-it notes.
- “Wow! You wrote this book? How exciting!” Sounds promising, as the patron cracks the spines on at least 3 of the novels and may even actually read the blurb on back. Meanwhile, she’s pocketing bookmarks and hitting the snacks/candy. She smiles her congratulations on such an impressive feat and walks away.
- “Is your book any good?” I’ve gotten better at this zinger since my little project has won multiple awards (a little clout really builds confidence), but I started with stuff like “I sure hope so”, ” I like it okay,” and “I’m planning on sending it to Oprah”.
Many folks, of course, are gracious and encouraging at book signings. It’s great to be an author!