Author Signings {Gaby’s Discussion}

Posted 5 July, 2013 by Amanda / 5 Comments

(re)Discovering the Basics

Blogging is HARD. If you’ve ever searched for a road map only to come up empty handed, you’re not alone. (Re)Discovering the Basics chronicles one blogger’s (Gaby’s!) journey to finding her own way in the online world. Together, we’ll open the discussion on how we blog and what both new and established bloggers can learn from each other.

Amanda’s note: This is the final installment of Gaby’s (re)Discovering the Basics. Today she covers author signings–and if you’ve ever been to one before, you can probably relate. If you’d like to read the reasoning behind this discussion series, you can check out my interview with Gaby. Love these posts? Don’t forget to connect with Gaby at Queen Ella Bee Reads or on Twitter @EllaBeeReads so you can continue getting all the Gaby awesome for yourself.

So your favorite author’s coming to town and you want to go meet them but you’re terrified of making a giant fool of yourself. You’re afraid you’ll just come off as super psychotic and be banned from your favorite bookstore forever. There are honestly a lot of things that can go wrong here and you’d much rather just skip the whole thing than deal with the anxiety attached to this event.

Here’s why you (and me) should stop with the crazy neurotic thoughts, go and ENJOY YOURSELF:

The author is just as nervous as you are.

“What if people don’t show up?”

“What if they ask me an embarrassing question – or worse, a question I can’t answer?”

“What if they want me to read something from my book and OMG PUBLIC SPEAKING OMG NO.”

Not to mention, these author tours last about two weeks and require an INSANE amount of family-less travel and totally lack of any sleep whatsoever.

Now, don’t get too comfortable just because you now know authors are people too. Remember a couple points of event-going etiquette.

1. Try and buy the book you want signed at the event. You want to support the store the authors are visiting!

2. There are people behind you. Have your quick conversation, take your picture and keep moving. If you have time and want to talk more, stick around until the end and see what happens, but don’t make people stand in line an extra 10 minutes.

3. Say please and thank you. Really, please, don’t forget this. Thanks!

Go forth, dear readers, find the bookish events, attend and be not afraid of greatness, okay? Because these events ARE greatness and you’re bound to have a great time – these authors have REALLY crazy research/on the road/random encounter stories that I’m sure they’ll tell you about if you ask the right questions.

OH! And if you have any other points of event-going etiquette that I missed, please chime in the comments below!

Filed under: Discussion,

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5 Responses to “Author Signings {Gaby’s Discussion}”

  1. While we don’t get authors coming through Columbia very often, I’ve done signings at BEA and definitely agree with your points (of course, you don’t buy the books at BEA but if I love the book, I’ll usually end up buying a finished copy so there you go). DEFINITELY be aware of the people behind you. The author only has so much time and you get about 10 seconds of his/her time. Say hi, get the signature, fangirl a bit and move on. Don’t have a whole conversation or take multiple pictures in many poses. Be polite and don’t leave a bad impression.

  2. Your advice is spot on! I recently went to ALA and, if you didn’t know, the lines for author signings are SUPER long. I froze when I got to authors I was intimated by and stood there like a goofy fool while they signed my book. When I wasn’t intimated I did a quick “I loved….(book)”, asked if I could snap a picture and went on my marry way.

  3. There are not many author events that happen locally so YES i do freak out when one comes :) But I’m pretty sure they’ll forget about me so it’s cool

  4. Love this. Another big nuisance I find at author events comes to questions. Specifically when people ask a really long, drawn-out question that doesn’t actually ASK anything but only makes the person asking look smarter. It happens every time at least once.

    Don’t be that person.

    Ask a question that is relevant both to the author and the general audience, is fairly short in scope, and comes from a place of genuine curiosity, not showing off.

    *End rant*

    Also, I told Neil Gaiman that he wasn’t like nachos in a complete foot in my mouth moment and I survived, so don’t let sounding like a dumb-head psych you out when it comes to talking to authors. Who knows, maybe me and Mr. Gaiman connected at a deeper level because of that comment.

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