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
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.