So, I have another signing this weekend — the THIEFTAKER Summer 2012 Signing Tour resumes with an event at the Barnes and Noble at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee. I’ll be signing on Saturday at 2:00 pm, and I hope to see many of you there.
Signings are strange. They can be utterly exhilarating. I’ve had a few that sent so well, that saw me sell and sign so many books, that I really wanted them to go on and on and on. I was fortunate enough to have several very successful signings in July, as my travels took me to Albany and Storrs, Somerville and Claymont, Rock Hill, Columbia, and Charlotte.
We writers don’t get to interact with readers and potential readers nearly as much as most of us would like. Signings give us a unique opportunity to meet the people who buy our books. Even more important, they allow us to interact with the people who sell our books — the bookstore managers and staff.
The folks who work in bookstores are almost always there because they love to read, they love to turn other people onto the books that they have enjoyed, and they enjoy meeting authors. We enjoy meeting them every bit as much.
But not all signings go well. And some of them are truly disasters. There are few things worse in a professional writer’s life than sitting in a bookstore at a table laden with books, and signing nothing at all. People enter the store, look your way, and then quickly avert their eyes, as if simply making eye contact will somehow compel them to buy a book they otherwise would not want. I’ve had people come up to my table and ask me where the magazine section is, or where they can find a restroom. “Um . . . I don’t know. I don’t work here. I’m doing a book signing.” “Oh. [Blink, blink] Well, thank you . . .”
Now, I’ve also had people come up to me, look at my books and tell me, very politely, that they don’t read fantasy. That’s fine. I would never force someone to buy a book they didn’t want, and I am very happy to talk to people about books and about writing, even if they have no interest in ultimately purchasing my novel. I prefer that — by a long shot — to having people avoid me entirely.
So, if you see me at the store, come by and say hello. If you want to buy a book, great. If not, that’s fine, too. But there really is no need to run away.
Hope to see some of you on Saturday!