Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book signing observations

So I'm making an effort to attend other authors book signings and events. I really want to observe the best and worst and get some original ideas. The top 2 author events I've attended were a Stephen King appearance in Sarasota about 5 years ago and a Martha Stewart cookbook signing in Tampa. King's event was boring. I think the man is a genius, but his stage presence could use some tips from his inner writer. He chose to read a short story, as I recall and most authors do read from a current work but he could have indulged us in some stories from his tour or the drive to the venue, anything! Stephen King needs a holographic Tupac to engage with, as he doesn't seem to know what to do with a giant room full of people who adore his writing. King doesn't appear shy or annoyed, just there. Take away from Stephen King event: Act interested and share a little about yourself. Also, write tons of bestsellers! As for the Martha Stewart's signing, it was a brillantly organized event that snaked around her brands in the houseware's department of Macy's. Her people managed the crowd, engaged with Martha fans, got books prepped for the next in line and Martha took a moment to speak with most everyone who stepped forward and she signed things her handlers said she would not. Bravo to Martha. Take away from Martha Stewart event: Get help! Have trusted friends engage with your audience and keep them excited about your book. Be friendly and listen to those who waited to see you. Now each of these mega superstars have paid their dues and have my total respect. I went to another signing this week by a Florida author and for some stupid reason, I feel compelled to give my book to other authors? Like I think it's a common courtesy. Does someone what to help me with this? Am I wasting books? Is it like going to a party and bringing a bottle of wine to the host, or is it just my Madmen upbring? Am I just to buy their book and shake hands or just sit and watch? It's not like anyone knows me. Well I got the look from the author like, "I'm going to burn that when I get home," when I placed my book in front of her. Should I have curtsied, too? But she didn't miss a beat swiping my credit card on her SquaredUp iPhone. So, I'm going to keep observing. But I have this need to reinvent the book signing! More to come...

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