My co-author and I have had two booksignings. The first at Blue Willow Bookshop, an independent bookstore, and the other this past Saturday at Borders-The Fountains in Stafford. We count them as great successes. Next we travel to the Clear Lake-Webster area (think NASA) for a signing on Saturday, June 11 from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Barnes and Noble in Baybrook Mall. (The last time we had a signing scheduled at this store–in 2001–Houston suffered major flooding from a hurricane and we had to reschedule.)
Booksignings are interesting events. You never know who will turn up, especially if the event has been publicized in the paper. We’ve had old friends who we haven’t seen in years stop by to say hello and buy a copy of a book. I’ve even had an old friend of my mother’s come by. They also offer surprises. This past week we had several store customers come over and decide to buy our book as a Father’s Day gift. That’s perfect for this time of year, but for some reason we hadn’t even thought of that particular gift-giving idea.
On the other hand, signings can also be challenging. Most booksignings, particularly those where the author is from out of town, don’t draw many people. The serve more as an opportunity for the author to meet the booksellers, those folks who actually do hand sell the books day after day. Often authors are able to find new fans who are eager to share their enthusiasm for a new writer they’ve discovered. So even when a signing doesn’t appear to have generated one sale, the seeds for future sales can be planted.
Next time you’re at a bookstore and see an author sitting behind a stack of books, why not stop by and say hello–even better, buy their book.