This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in a multi-author book signing in Fort Worth, TX. I usually only do one book signing a year, by myself, at my local Christian store in Abilene. Book signings are a great way to maintain relationships with bookstore managers and staff and it is always fun to meet the dedicated fan who is excited to get an autographed copy of your book. However, there is also the dreaded awkwardness of standing by a book-laden table at the front of the store while average customers do their best not to make eye-contact as they circle WAY around your table to avoid having you speak to them.
I always do my best to be friendly and never pressure anyone to buy a book. I give away lots of free promo items. Yet, during the 2 hours I’m in the store, there are many segments of dead time where I just stand there and try to look approachable.
This year, things didn’t go according to plan, but as God often does, he created a new plan that turned out even better. When my local LifeWay store didn’t contact my publisher about having me do a signing like they usually did, I asked my publicist if I needed to contact the local manager myself. Well, as it turned out, my local LifeWay store was scheduled to close the month my book released.
I was so saddened to see another Christian bookstore in our community leave. Thankfully, we still had a Mardel store, and they were happy to arrange a local event for me. In addition, the LifeWay folks invited me to do a signing at their next closest store, Fort Worth.
Doing a signing in a larger metropolitan area held a certain appeal, but really excited me was the knowledge that several other Bethany House authors I knew lived in the area. Our publicist put the event together and all three of our other DFW authors agreed to join me.
Becky Wade, Anne Mateer, and Julianna Deering made the 3 hour signing fly by. We all drew in different readers, and many of them bought books from authors other than the ones they came in to see. But the best part was that whenever traffic slowed, we had each other to talk to. That special author camaraderie was priceless.
- What are some tasks in your life that are much more pleasant to undertake when you have company?
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