Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thinking About Book Signings…

Tip of the Day: When your husband gives you that look and says, “You’re watching (insert your favorite teen TV show here) AGAIN?!” Tell him in your most serious voice, “I’m doing research.”

When thinking of all the wonderful new things Lisa, Miss Pinch-Me-I’m Pubbed, is embarking on with her new book release this week , one of the highlights has to be book signings.

When I think of book signings for other people I think ooooh fun! I love to go to them. I love meeting authors. When I think of doing my own book signing, I think AHHHHHH!!!!!! Of course I WANT to do them; they just seem kinda scary at the moment. Like,

1) What do I talk about?

2) What part of the book do I read? And will I sound like a dork?

3) How much of the book do I read?

4) What if the attendants ask a question that I don’t have an answer for?

Ok, really I shouldn’t be too nervous (though I’m sure I totally will be) since I’ve been teaching for 7 years. I should be good at this talking to people stuff. And good at reading aloud and answering questions etc. But maybe because the subject matter is more personal, being my work, that it scares me a little? What do you guys think? Does the idea of having your own book signing scare you? And then do you know what is even scarier to me? That first signing where all of your family and friends show up. I mean, talk about pressure! How have you published writers handled that?

And then once you’ve stopped obsessing about the impending book signing and you are actually there doing it, what the heck are you going to write in your book?? I mean, people got in their cars, drove to see you, bought the book, listened to your reading, and waited in line (ok I’m dreaming of big crowds here…). You have to write something great right? Something profound and life changing. Well, maybe not profound and life changing…I may be getting carried away. Definitely something cool though. Let’s examine some of the signed books in my collection.

Simone Elkeles: “How cool that you came to the festival! Good luck with your book and I hope you make millions.”

I love this one. Sweet and personal. And she wants me to make millions!

Caridad Ferrer: “Congrats! I hope you enjoy my girl!”

I like this one. She said congrats because of a contest and I like that she really feels close to her character in the book to say “enjoy my girl”. Cute.

Melissa Marr: “There are always choices.”

Oooh cryptic. There is obviously a meaning with her signing and I have to read the book to figure it out. Clever.

Meg Cabot: “Meg Cabot”

Hmmm…not much to work with here. But you know what? It’s freaking Meg Cabot and I love her! And she hands down had the best book signing I've ever attended.

And finally…

Name Withheld to protect the book signing challenged: “Thank you for your patronage.”

Uh gee…you’re welcome. I’ve got no warm fuzzies from this one folks.

Ok, so what do you guys think I should write at my future booksignings? I’m thinking I need something that ties into the book. The Espressologist is about a coffee barista that matchmakes customers based on their favorite coffee drinks. What about something like,

“Wishing you love with your latte.”

Kristina, Miss Soon-to-Pub


Amanda Morgan said...

LOL! Great post! I think you should write, "love and lattes," or something like that. :)

DeenaML said...

I loved how at the children's book fest I was at this winter, all the authors of the board books I bought for a little girl's 1st bday were so excited to write a Happy Birthday message to her before signing her name.

And in the YA realm, I've gotten lots of "GOOD LUCK ON YOUR WRITING!" messages, which I love bc they know the journey and believe me when I say I'm a writer, too.

For yours, Tina, I think "Love and Lattes! Tina" Or will you sign Kristina? Either way, very cute idea you already came up with.

If an aspiring writer comes for an autograph, you can add "Love, LUCK, and Lattes!"

Kristina Springer said...

Oooh-- you guys are good! Love and Lattes is even better! Ok, this is a first Deena, I have to CUT what I wrote instead of ADD to it. :-)

Anonymous said...

I like Love & Lattes!

Anyways, great post, I am right there with ya.


Emily Marshall said...

I like Love and Lattes too! Especially because the saying is in the book, right? And adding luck and other such "L" words as needed.

I agree with you, reading in front of perfect strangers would be much easier than reading in front of family and friends.

Emily Marshall said...

And Tina, I forgot to mention that I say that to my husband all the time. Though he knows it's a lie and I would watch it anyway, so he usually answers, "Whatever," or "sure."

Kristina Springer said...

The sign they put up in the book says something like "Come in for a little love with your latte". So yeah-- it would be perfect to just say Love & Lattes!

Kristina Springer said...

Oh! And my husband buys the research excuse Em so don't let your husband talk to my husband. ;-)

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Tina, You hit all the issues I think about! Like you, I have taught for years and love to read literature to kids, talk about it, and answer questions. But you nailed it--it's just so personal when it's your writing!

As I inch closer to actually being able to think about a book signing of my own, I find myself fantasizing about what I will write, what I will read... ahhhh.

I love your idea. Deena has some great ones, too! I think I love most the little nods to the signee's dreams of writing or something personal, but I also love those little tidbits that relate to the book.

As for figuring out what to read, your editor might have some good thoughts about that.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

BTW--did someone actually write "thank you for your patronage"? How interesting was the book? Maybe the writer was at the end of an excessively long book tour!

Lisa Schroeder said...

Okay, I'm going to sign,

I heart your patronage.

How's that?


DeenaML said...

Ha ha, Lisa! Are you sure you don't want "I Haunt Your Patronage"?

Kate Fall said...

Oooh, you could learn to draw a coffee cup! Boy, you'd get sick of that fast, though.

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

LOL! or maybe "You heart me, I'll haunt you...promise"

Kristina Springer said...

Yeah GG-- someone really wrote that! And the book wasn't very interesting but it was my first time going to a signing and I was like ooooh author!! I would have bought any book. :-)

And OMG GG! I love your idea for what Lisa should write-- totally make them think you're crazy Lisa. It'll build a fan base. Ha!

Anonymous said...

I think the idea of "love and lattes" is really cool! Another option is to ask what one of their favourite warm drinks is, but that could get lengthy. :)

Melissa Marr said...

FWIW, it wasn't meant to be cryptic. It's my core life belief, & it's a theme in everything I've written :) I agonized over what to write (& now I agonize over if I should something different in the new book). This felt true so *shrug* it worked for me. It may stay that way for Ink too. There's no mystery though--it means precisely what it says :)

Random signing thoughts--
Be braced for variations. At BEA, I signed about 200 books. In about a third of those I just signed my name at their request. Some of those were for re-sale purposes. Some wanted date & name (since it was a first press copy). In the UK, book collectors wanted line/sign/date (bookstore explanation I rec'd: "first line of the text written by your hand"). Asking what they want is good. (Always carry post-its & a pen you don't mind not keeping.) If your brain isn't in meltdown, you can even try to personalize it on the spot (a task that gets harder later into the event or after a few events in a short space).

And that's the source of the name only thing, imho. After a few dozen, it's tempting to just sign your name, & it's easy to see how that evolves. A friend gave me a signed book from an author who has huge crowds. Years ago, this author signed something & then his name. Now it's a blur with a few letters legible. OTOH, Terry Pratchett still writes something along with his name despite the several hundred people in his lines.

Oh, & be prepared for people asking you to write "Exactly What I Say." I don't do this. Ever. I've been slightly disturbed by the audacity of some of the requests too. . .

Good luck & have fun,


Lisa Schroeder said...

ghost girl - I love it! I may use it!!! :)

Kristina Springer said...

Thanks for clearing that up M! I would have been searching for that message in the book. :-)

And thanks for all the insights into book signing!! Now I'm curious as to what people asked you to write-- "To my very best friend in the whole world who inspired me to write this..." :-)

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Go for it, Lisa!

And wow! Thanks Melissa for the great advice on signings. I hope I'll need it soon.