Monday, February 11, 2013

Booksigning No-Nos

Ten Things You Probably Shouldn't Bring to Your Booksigning

Candy: You'll end up babysitting a half-dozen readers too young for your novels while their mothers wander off to the cafe and have a relaxing half-hour sipping latte and nibbling on Godiva triple-truffle cheesecake. Also, while you're dealing with smeared faces, sticky fingers and the other inevitable effects of sugar on six-year-olds, at least one mother will return to inform you that her child is highly allergic to chocolate exactly two minutes after that little darling has ingested a handful of Hershey kisses.

Hand Sanitizer: This is a before and after, not during, thing to do at booksignings. Do bring a packet of tissues to politely offer to the sniffers, sneezers and coughers.

Low-Cut Blouse: No matter how fantastic your cleavage is, this stratagem does not tempt male readers into buying your book. They merely hover and talk to your chest until the wife arrives to glare at you and haul them off by an arm or ear.

Medication: If you're so sick you're actually chugging Dayquil just to stay vertical, should you really be out infecting helpless readers signing books?

One Pen: No matter how lucky or wonderful it is, your favorite pen can and probably will blob, skip or run out of ink altogether. Or someone will walk off with it in the middle of the signing.

Personal Security: This always cracks me up. If authors looked and made as much money as Angelina Jolie or Taylor Swift, maybe, but honestly? We don't and we don't. So skip the Rent-A-Face-Wrecker; no one needs to guard your bod.

Pets: Unless it's a service animal pets + bookstore generally don't mix. And remember that first grader who was highly allergic to chocolate? Pet dander makes him break out in hives, or your pet will take an instant dislike to him and bite him.

Snacks: Eating is another before or after, not during, thing to do. P.S., make sure they don't set up your signing table near the Godiva ballotin display. Trust me, it's evil.

Sunglasses: How do we spell pretentious? W-e-a-r-i-n-g s-u-n-g-l-a-s-s-e-s i-n-d-o-o-r-s.

Your Two-Year-Old: This darling kiddo may be an angel at home, but in a bookstore while you're trying to promote your novel, chat up readers and behave like a professional . . . do you remember The Exorcist? Like that. Get a babysitter.

8 comments:

  1. I could tell you stories that involve certain ones of these. And you would probably laugh your tail off.

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    1. Oh, this is the PG version. I have an R-rated list from my years in RWA. ;)

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  2. Yeah. Table WELL AWAY from chocolate...

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    1. They always sat me right next to the big display of Godiva for my booksignings at B&N. Every single time.

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  3. I would like to add a very small addendum to your list that I'd experienced at my very first book signing a week ago:

    Don't do the book signing at your job. Even if you do things correctly by participating in a work sponsered vendor program, chances are that someone higher up the food chain will take exception to what you're selling and get you into BIG TROUBLE.

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    1. I've heard other authors say the same about similar events. Seems a shame you don't get the proper support from your employer, but then most of them just don't get it.

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  4. Too funny! Hopefully someday, I'll have the chance to be guilty of at least one of these ;o)

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    1. If a three hundred pound martial arts instructor shows up with a wild and complicated conspiracy theory about Hogan's Heroes . . . no, better let you experience that in person.

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