Friday, August 17, 2007

Book Signings: The Goofy Things that Happen...

Reading Debby Giusti's post about her fabulous book signing got me thinking that it's time to organize a string of booksignings for my November 11/07 book, CRADLE OF SECRETS. I can only hope that my experience will be as fun and exciting as Debby's was.

You see, years ago when I was published with a small press, I did a local "book tour" for Waldenbooks. For two months, I hit all the Waldenbooks in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Well, not all of them, but I got to a fair amount of them, doing 4-5 book signings each weekend.

I always tried to be there early...just in case. You know, little snaffus do happen. Like when the manager never told the staff that there was actually going to be a booksigning there, even though I'd called the night before to confirm and make sure my books had arrived. Then there was the time the manager decided to "move" the booksigning to another mall in Worcester because the books got delivered to the wrong store. Except, no one told me and I spent an hour with a staff member in the back room looking through boxes for my books until we were told. I was a little late for that signing. Then, there was the time they moved the store. That's right, they moved the store on me. It's my own fault. I was dealing with someone in corporate who didn't know the new store was still undergoing remodeling and confirmed a signing when there was no store.

Those were the snaffus. There are also the other little things that go on. Some bookstores give you a card table in the corner, a box of books, a pen and a bottle of Poland Springs and let you do your thing. (I learned to take my own tablecloth.) Those types of signings were always pretty interesting. No one knew who I was and even though I had my books spread out nicely on the card table I always got questions from customers asking how to find another book, if there was a public restroom or did the store carry the Wall Street Journal. I was always polite and helpful as I have a strong backtground in customer service and it's just not something you can turn off like a switch. Sometimes they would notice my book and smile, and sometimes they'd even buy it. That was always a thrill.

Then there are the stores that go all out for you. I remember one mall booksigning in Burlington, Massachusetts right before Christmas where the bookstore displayed my books so beautifully I was in tears. Picture this, it's one of those corner bookstores in the mall with an entrance on two sides. They put my books on a table and displayed them in tiers. Beautiful table cloth, festive flowers, and a sign that read "Local Author Signing". It was prominently displayed so you could see it from both entrances! I'd arrived at the mall about a half hour early so I could get a bite to eat, but instead of eating, I wandered back and forth in front of both entrances, looking at my little signing table in awe. I must have looked like an idiot but I didn't care. It was just so pretty. This was in the days before camera phones, but if I'd had one, I would have taken a picture for sure!

I can't be the only author out there that has goofy booksigning stories and I'm sure there will be more stories to add to the above. In the coming months, I'll let you know when and where I'll be signing. I'm even planning a "virtual" book signing to let readers who can't be in the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut area participate.

Until then, many blessings to you all! Lisa


HollyJacobs said...


Enjoy the moments...even the goofy ones! I did a signing once the day after a huge storm. It blew an awning across the roof of the store, so it was leaking all over. I spent the entire signing singing "I'm signing in the rain..." Definitely one of my goofy moments. (Uh, I've got a lot of goofy moments, both writing and otherwise! LOL)


Tracy Montoya said...

Lisa, I can't believe you had booksignings where they moved the store or it just wasn't there! That's crazy! The worst one I ever had was just that the books never showed up--and I suspected that the coordinator forgot to order them. So I just talked with the group who had come, and one woman told me about the romance she'd planned about a battered husband who had breast cancer and wanted plastic surgery on his face. But that was the most bizarre thing that ever happened to me....

Natalie Damschroder said...

I never had a moved store or missing books, though I did have a signing with my first book where the staff didn't seem to have any clue who I was--despite the signs I'd loaned them to have on display all month, and the table full of books they'd set up in front of the meeting room.

My funniest story is that at my last signing, for Against the Rules and Second Chance at Forever (both of which feature guys with bare chests on the covers), someone from a store across the mall apparently said something to mall security, who pondered the display for about 15 minutes before my arrival.

That doesn't top Megan Hart, however, who had protestors for a recent signing and a security guard protecting her because of it.