Book Signing, Part III

05 Jul

DREAMS DO COME TRUE!! Here I am holding Gilby at a Powell’s book signing.

Before I became a published author, I dreamed of having a book signing at Powell’s Books in Oregon. Thankfully my dream did come true – twice. Yet each time the pleasure was not solely mine, other authors were included, too.

After the excitement wore off, I quickly shifted into anxiety gear. If I’m with another author, will we both end up wearing the same color suit jacket? What if her book sells but mine doesn’t? I certainly didn’t want to look pitiful. Well, I did sell some books, and no one was wearing the same thing I was.

What did I really need to worry about? Having a good display that includes a stand for your book(s), a stack of business cards (without personal information), bookmarks or rack cards to pass out separately or slip inside your book(s). Others included optional items: A bowl of chocolates, mini-books that included a chapter of their next book, and any theme related object to place around your space.

The last time I was at Powell’s, the book store seated us in alphabetical order. That placed me beside two successful writers, and gave me a chance to talk with people I didn’t know. Sometimes they talked around me, but hey, I looked like I was included in the conversation. Forgive me, I can’t remember the name of the author on my left, but at my right was historical writer, Elizabeth Boyle.

My son and daughter-in-law came in with their new baby, Gilby. I held him a couple of times and noticed what a great conversation starter he was. People stopped by to try to get his attention and Elizabeth Boyle liked his name so much she wanted to use it in an upcoming story.

I also learned from Elizabeth that she’d added a paranormal element to one of her books and some of her fans didn’t like the departure from her usual stories. This information alone should make a writer sit up and take notice. Being consistent in what you’re writing pays off, especially after your second book. However, I bought this particular book about at WinCo and enjoyed it a lot.

At an event like this, it is to your benefit to be friendly and talk with other authors. Not for rubbing elbows to get something for yourself in the world of publishing, but to have acquaintances in the writing world, to help you learn about different publishing houses, what works for others, and to support other writers. I believe it is a great thing to get to know people with your same interests, and to watch each other grow in the business.

From these two events at Powell’s, I came away knowing how to set up my table, or signing area. I came away knowing some of the authors better, such as, Delilah Marvelle (Zebra), Jenna Slade (Signet/Eclipse), Jenna Bayley-Burke (Samhain Publishing) and Kristina McMorris (Pocket Books). At other signings I spent time with Paty Jager (Wild Rose Press) and Kerry A. Jones (Black Lyon Publishing). I’m looking forward to signing with Judie Kleng this summer, one of the few Black Lyon authors I’ve met personally.

At which book store do you dream of having a book signing one day?


Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Blogs, Book Signings, books, Idaho, writers, writing


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16 responses to “Book Signing, Part III

  1. florence fois

    July 5, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    Mary, thanks for sharing part of your dream. I am Brooklyn born and bred, Manhattan native, retired and at-large in the wilds of South Florida. My dream signing would be at the mid-town B&N or it could be the old Britano’s on Fifth Avenue … then again … a small bookstore in Brooklyn Heights … or the newest bookseller in Washington Heights. Get the picture? Just a homie from the hood who dreams of returning to her old stomping grounds. Who knows that one of these days I might find myself sitting somewhere in Brooklyn or Manhattan with one or two of my favs. For now, I work, dream and get back to work 🙂

    • Mary Vine

      July 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM

      Of course you will find yourself sitting among others at a book store in Brooklyn AND Manhattan. Maybe you could borrow a baby for attention, too.

  2. Liz Fredericks

    July 5, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Thanks for the tips, Mary. The notion of a book signing experience has never occurred to me, but your marketing suggestions made a lot of sense. I agree on your grandson’s name – charming! And I bet he’s just as cute in person.

    • Mary Vine

      July 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Liz, yes Gilby turned out to be a cute little blonde boy – now 4.

  3. Janis McCurry

    July 5, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    Seconding my thanks for the suggestions, Mary. I really like the networking with other authors part. You might make a new friend!

    • Mary Vine

      July 6, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      Yes, other authors pay attention to who you are and what you’re written.

  4. stephaniebergets

    July 5, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Thank you for the suggestions. Your display was the nicest I’ve seen.

    • Mary Vine

      July 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Thanks, Stephanie for the compliment on my display!

  5. Meredith Conner

    July 5, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Great things to keep in mind and what a sweet little baby!!!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. MK Hutchins (@mkhutchins)

    July 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Great thoughts on book signings — thanks for sharing!

    • Mary Vine

      July 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Thanks for commenting, MK!

  7. Lynn Mapp

    July 5, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Thank you for the tips. I had never thought about not having personal information on your cards.

    • Mary Vine

      July 6, 2012 at 1:12 PM

      Another author told me pretty quickly, not to put my phone number on my card. I had new cards made.

  8. Peggy Staggs

    July 5, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Great tips. I’ve heard horror stories from big time authors about book signings. Glas your’s wasn’t one.

  9. Mary Vine

    July 6, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    I have too, Peggy. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we say or do at a book signing. If someone reads books they’ll probably stop by and look at your book. Can’t make people read who don’t want to.


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