When my first devotional book was published, I could hardly wait to have a book signing. After all, that’s what authors do, right? They schedule a time, promote it to everyone they can think of, and sell tons of books.
Um, not always.
One of my signings was a huge success. It helps to hold it at a bookstore near a lot of your husband’s family and high school friends he still keeps in touch with. Many of them came for the socializing factor, but that was OK because they also bought books. I was the bookstore’s new favorite author.
And then there were the other signings that were closer to reality. I sold two copies at the mall bookstore signing to ladies who came from my church. And I sold zero at the signing almost 3 hours from home – yes, I said 3 hours – despite how excited the customer relations person had been about promoting it and bringing in droves of people. Turns out it’s hard to promote a book signing when you transfer to another store within days of the event. It’s even harder to be sure things go well when the author arrives and no one at the store knows anything about the event. The best part of that day was the fact my mom went with me, so we had a great visit on the road.
Yes, I learned a lot during those few months, which is why I thought this video was so funny (maybe a little too painfully true, but funny). I saw it on literary agent Steve Laube’s blog and hoped you’d get a kick out of it too.
So the next time you’re in a bookstore and an author is there for a signing, have a little compassion and stop by the table. I promise it’s not that hard. Just say hello so the author knows she’s not invisible. Ask a couple of questions. Take a piece of candy from the bowl that’s probably there.
Trust me, you’ll make her day.