Yesterday I went to a book signing at a fabulous beach town bookstore. They always have great book signings, and this week was no exception. (I’m always taking notes because I worked with my friend and author K.L. Kranes to organize a book signing this past spring and I like to observe other similar events.)
Elin Hilderbrand, an author whose Nantucket-themed beach books have achieved great success, was the first meet-and-greet event. The line was all the way out the door onto the street.
As someone who is about to be published, I was impressed by this long line. While waiting, I fretted about what I would say to her. Should I tell her I’m an author? Should I say aspiring author? Should I ask for advice on coming up with titles of books, because that’s what I’m currently wondering about my own book? Maybe I should just make general conversation.
I only had about 45 seconds with her, so after smiling introductions I asked her, “How is your book tour going?” She hesitated, and then admitted, “It’s a lot. It’s just a lot.” I was surprised. I told her that I hoped she’d take care of herself, thanked her for her autograph, posed with her for a photo, and wished her well for the rest of her tour. (Not bad for 45 seconds!) Since that brief encounter, I have been thinking about what she said and hoping she is getting enough sleep. Additionally, I keep thinking about the number of authors who would kill to have eager readers lining up outside the store and around the corner waiting to meet you and have you sign one of your successful books.
The second author was S. T. Heller. Her books are Enduring You and Revealing You, both books in The Dock Series. The author’s table was outside on the bustling sidewalk in front of the bookshop, a few steps away from the sandy boardwalk. She was alternately talking with people, signing her book, and observing the passers-by. Since it was a relaxed atmosphere with more time to talk, I greeted her, asked her how she was doing, and explained that I was writing a book myself. We chatted while she signed; she asked me what my book was about and expressed encouragement. She gave me a postcard with the synopsis of both of her books on one side and her contact info on the other, tucked it into my autographed copy of the book, and asked me to let her know what I thought of her book. I wished her good luck, we said farewell and waved goodbye.
All in all, a great time meeting these two writers. Authors, they’re just like us!
Tell me about a book signing you’ve experienced, whether as an eager reader, author, or observer. Was it awesome, tiring, stressful or something else?