by Judith Briles on The Book Shepherd
Question: Is there a right way … or a wrong way to sign a book for an enthusiastic buyer? Or for a gift from the buyer to another?
Answer: The only right way is what works for the author … that allows him or her to create a combo of interacting with the buyer and not turn it into a chore. After all, signing a book for a delighted reader is one of the joys of authoring.
Over the years, my book signing has evolved. I’ll never forget my debut appearance as a blushing newbie author. My signing was at a bookstore in Palo Alto, California on a Thursday evening in June of 1981. I had just been featured on Good Morning America and had no idea what to expect.
What happened was magic—the store was packed and 100 books were carried out the door in the arms of happy buyers. I was so honored … almost giggly with the evening’s outcome. Back then, there was no social media or email. Just plain “old-fashioned” postcard invitations sent out by the bookstore to their customers and the names and addresses I had given them.
No one prepared me or offered tips and suggestions on what to do. All I remember was smiling—lots—laughing and having a good time … and just signing my name. All I knew was that there would be a table that I would sit at and books to sign.
Fast forward to the 21st Century and 30 plus years later from that June enchanted evening. I’ve learned a lot about book signing—whether it’s a store event; a celebration in a private home; under a tent; or a conference that is packed with attendees.