Do you participate in book signing events as an author and/or a reader? I go to them as an author, but not as a reader. Is that weird? I’m an avid reader. I eat books. If someone said you can only have books or chocolate, but not both, I’d pick books… about chocolate. Just kidding.
Seriously though, why is it that I feel compelled to haul myself to book signing events to sell and sign my own books, but don’t salivate over the possibility of attending such events to gush over my favorite authors? I have a million of them. This is kind of a mystery to me. I’d like to get to the bottom of it. Someday.
In the meantime, here are my top five reasons to attend book signing events as an author:
2. To get my books in new readers’ hands – This is about promoting and marketing. Sure, I love my current readers, but I’ve got a heart big enough to accommodate MORE readers. I want them to enjoy my work, get sucked in, and anxiously wait for my new books. I’ll admit it – I want FANS!
3. To scout out what other authors are writing – I snoop at book signing events. I peruse the other authors’ tables to see what they think makes a good book. Sometimes I agree. Sometimes I don’t. But at the end of the event, I’ve got a finger on the pulse of what other writers are producing. I’ve also been watching which tables get the most traffic and ponder the whys of it. I like to learn from these events as much as I like to sell and sign stuff.
4. To role play – I’ll admit it, my life as an elementary teacher is fairly “ordinary.” When I attend these book signing events, however, I get to be a Romance Novelist. It’s kind of sexy and mysterious and attendees are wondering, “Where does she get her ideas? Has she done some of the things in her books? What kind of research did she have to do to get that scene right? Are Black Wolf Tavern and The Clumsy Grasshopper real bars?” I get to put on another hat and play for a few hours. It’s fun!
5. To goof around with fellow authors – This might be my favorite part of book signing events. Writing is a solitary endeavor. It’s just me, my laptop, and some cuddly pets for most of the journey. I interact a bit with my editor and cover artist. I bounce ideas off of critique partners. But essentially I’m alone in my process, talking to my fictional characters, who quite surprisingly, answer me back on a regular basis. I attend book signing events to connect and be surrounded by other folks who “get” what it means to be an author. Not everyone does, you know. Plus, I’ve made some great author friends whose antics at these events I wouldn’t miss. (Like, I leave some of these shindigs with a stomachache from laughing so hard. Ask author Heather Rigney of The Merrow Trilogy. She’ll corroborate.)
So those are the reasons I hop on board the book signing party train as an author every now and then. Maybe one of these days I’ll go to one purely as a reader. Give that whirl and see what happens.
What are your thoughts on book signing events? Yay? Nay? Only if you’re forced to? Not if you’re life depended on it? Once a year? As often as possible? Only as an author? Only as a reader?
The Maple Leaf Series, Books One to Six, available now. Book One is FREE in ebook. Always.
SAFE, The Shielded Series, Book One, coming soon.