Thoughts on Book Signings

I spent Saturday having a book signing at a local quilt store. This was the perfect place to display my new book, Scraps of Wisdom: All I Needed to Know I Learned in Quilting Class. It’s one of my favorite stores, chuck full of fabric, books, patterns, and all kinds of quilting paraphernalia that it’s hard to live without. It’s a dangerous place for me to be because it’s hard for me to walk out without buying something. I didn’t this time either. I bought another quilt pattern I couldn’t resist. It’s a quilt pattern of books. It will make a great table topper for other book signings.
Today, I met a man who makes quilts. He showed me some of his creations on his phone and they were gorgeous! He got started in quilting when he was laid up from back surgery. He read quilting books and figured out how to do it. He surprised his wife with a quilt he made for her while she was at work. Isn’t that cool way to show he loved her? I also visited with a girl who was my lunch buddy when I was working and she was in elementary school. She’s in eighth grade now and loves writing. We keep in touch, and I try to encourage her in school.
At my book signings, I stand behind my table, smiling and saying hi. I’m not a pushy person so I don’t hawk my books or anything, but I try to establish eye contact. That’s how I define being friendly. As people walked in the store and saw me there, I could tell they didn’t know what to think about an author displaying her books. The same thing has happened in other venues. Some people walked by without even looking at me. Others cracked a small smile, but looked wary of what I might do to them. Some seemed friendly, but didn’t stop. Some stopped and visited and didn’t buy a book. Some visited and bought a book. It was all fun because I enjoy meeting people.
After seeing how many people seemed uncomfortable, I decided that maybe I needed to let people know what to do if you see an author somewhere displaying his/her books. It’s easy. Stop and say hi. That’s it. If you see an author, stop and talk to her/him. It gets lonely sitting there being ignored. You don’t have to say much or buy a book. Just be friendly. Authors love to talk about their books and don’t mind if you look and don’t buy. That doesn’t make me feel sad or bad. It’s fun to just visit. I even talked about the store to some of the people who stopped to visit and encouraged them to look around. It’s the least I could do for their allowing me to be there. I had a door prize to give away today, but most didn’t sign up for it (their loss!).
If you really want to help an author, stop and visit with her/him when they have a book signing. If you read one of her/his books, write a review somewhere about it. Book reviews are like gold to an author. Books are ranked in sell-ability based partly on book reviews. The more book reviews, the better. Most of all, give an honest review. If you like the book, let everyone know. If you didn’t like the book, say so and why. That helps the author to improve her/his writing style. Honesty is truly the best policy.
Please support your local authors. We couldn’t be writers if there were no readers. There would be no readers if there were no writers. We need each other. It’s a lovely, symbiotic relationship.

My friend Lizzy came to see my at my book signing
My friend Lizzy came to see me at my book signing

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