8 Things Every Signing Attendee should know
by Crystal from :
❧ Over the past two years I have been blogging about books. My blog is PEACE LOVE BOOKS and I’ve learned a lot about authors, tours, building relationships etc. In that time I’ve also been fortunate enough to attend about 6-7 book signing events. Let me tell you, for a book fan, there is nothing better than meeting your favorite author, getting signed books and swag, chatting with fellow book fans and learning about new authors and books to add to our never-ending T-B-R on Goodreads. I wouldn’t call myself a pro or even a signing master, I’ll leave that to the outgoing women who put these events together. All the hard work they put in for one event that often times doesn’t last a whole day is astounding.
If you’ve ever attended a signing, then you know how crazy things can get. Sometimes it’s overwhelming when you get there no matter how much you plan ahead of time. Authors tables often overflow with fans and swag so getting your spot at the table may be a bit of a fight, but remember we’re all there for the same reason and a little courtesy goes a long way. So to help you plan or probably just LOL, here’s a list I put together to help prepare you for an upcoming signing.
If any of you ladies are attending the NYC Signing in July I shall see you there. Be sure to stop by and say hi. Maybe throw in some of your own ideas I may have missed.
8 Things Every Signing Attendee should know
✤ Plan-coordinate – One of the first things I do when I know I am attending an author signing is prepare for who I am going to see. I check all the books by those authors, add them to be read, if there is enough time before the event, and create a page for them in my special Author Notebook (adding little graphics of the books covers and author name). Knowing which authors I will be seeing makes it easier to determine what or should I say who is more important. If I know X-author will be there and they are beyond popular at this time, then maybe I’ll stop and see them first so I don’t miss out. On the day of or night before the event, check and see if you can find a seating chart. This will make your life easier and you can use the chart as a checklist of sorts so you know who’s left.
✤ divide & conquer – The Buddy System is the best idea for a large signing. If you can finagle a non-book lover to attend with you, you’re even better off since they won’t be off doing their own thing. Depending on the size of the event and the number of authors, you may want to decide which authors you need to meet and which you can handle just a autograph from, send your friends on their merry way, doing your bidding and collecting swag while you’re free to chat with your favorite authors and fan-girl all without a witness who would probably hold it against you. I’ve seen boyfriends carrying suitcases full of books for their GF’s, if those women can talk their men into being their luggage boys, surely you can find someone to help. (Be warned that bringing a backpack is NOT the best idea. If you’re getting books signed and tons of swag, that adds up and your back will not be happy. A rolling suitcase or backpack is ideal since you can still carry it if you so choose.)
✤ check prices – If at all possible see if authors will be selling copies of their books at the signing. Some do and some only have limited quantities or only certain books from a series. If you’re particular like I am, it’s best to research as much as you can. If there is enough time to have books shipped to you I suggest checking with your preferred book seller, mine is Amazon, and price out the book. Author’s often will charge full price for the book at these events, so if you’re looking to buy multiple books, saving even a little bit of money is key.
✤ fan & hydration – After attending the insane Authors In the City Event in March I wished I was better prepared for the staggering amount of people crammed into one small space. The heat and smells coming off us all was not always pleasant but being in such close quarters made it hard to escape. Don’t let the fact that the AC was not working fool you either, there was so many people a mouse couldn’t have gotten through. Thus plan for the heat. Plan for 500 people crammed in one room. Bring water, know where water fountains are and even bring a handheld fan if you can. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
✤ Be an Individual – Remember your favorite author’s are just people too. They are typically generous and grateful to fans and want to share the love. Be yourself and stand out. I’ve seen fans bringing authors gifts. Things I’d never expect like personalized blankets, bags, cards and more often than not hugs. Authors are huge huggers so have at em.’ Feel free to advertise for yourself if need be. Bloggers can bring business cards to hand out or wear personalized t-shirts. Even if you have a business, rock it, I’m sure someone will ask you about it.
✤ late arrival – Sometimes being the first attendee to enter the signing is not the best idea. Often times everyone wants to get right in (if there are no set times) and these events can resemble the mad rush of Black Friday shopping. Not to mention Authors are a lot more generous near the end of the event. If you’re a Blogger you may be in luck since more often than not, author’s do not want to lug all their books back home with them and you can be the lucky recipient of a free copy. Many times the last hour of the signing is fairly dead. If interested this may give you more time to chat one-on-one with your favorites.
✤ feel free to ask questions – If you’re like me then getting lost is an art. Falling on your face in the middle of a crowded NYC street is an everyday occurrence. Luckily I’ve been able to actually find each event unscathed and even certain authors within the event. Don’t let your clumsiness or cluelessness stop you. Everyone I’ve met ,even strangers in the city, were remarkably helpful. Fellow book fans will go out of their way to help you so don’t be afraid to ask for directions or anything else you need. Your day is supposed to be filled with fun, don’t let anything bring you down.
Adventrue Time – New experiences, new authors, new people, city etc Take it all in, make a day of it.
✤ Network/Make Friends I’ve seen bloggers and fans give authors blankets, purses, you name it. If you have a talent, don’t be afraid to share it. Being surrounded by so many book fanatics is not something that happens every day so take an initiative to meet someone new. There is nothing like meeting online buddies that you’ve chatted with for hours on end about the probability of actually meeting your own Travis, Gideon, Mason etc.. Make new friends, befriend an author, the sky’s really the limit when so many people just like you are crowded into one space.
✤ Most importantly…… Have Fun
For more from Me, Check me out @ dorkstatus.blogspot.com