Earlier this week, My Friend Amy brought up the discussion of book signings. I was fascinated by this post and the responses that she was getting that I thought that I would post my thoughts on my own blog!!
Back in 2003-ish, a friend and I had heard that James Patterson was coming to a local independent bookstore for a reading and book signing. I had never been to a book event before and decided to give it a try. I wanted a chance to hear the author speak in person and to be honest, I thought it would be really cool to get a book signed by an author just to have it. Needless to say, I never realized how much I would fall in love with book events from this one experience!!
Since my first experience, I have had the opportunity to experience many more of these events and I am always up for another! Some of my personal favorites . . . Patrick McManus, Gregory Maguire, and Khaled Hosseini. Each of the events that I have been to have had different formats, so I love them for different reasons. It's really hard to compare them all when the authors are from different genres, the events are formatted differently, etc.
As for the signed books . . . I originally thought it would be cool just to have a signed book. Today, I treasure these books!! Some of them are my personal favorite reads, so it just adds to my own personal value of them. I could not tell you the monetary value, but it really does not matter to me. I have no intentions to rid myself of them anyways. I simply like the stories behind the books themselves, not just the ones that are within the pages (i.e., where I bought the book, the sentimental value behind it, etc.).
And, for the technical aspects of book signings, I really think that there are some unwritten rules that all participants should follow! First and foremost, don't bring a whole bag of books to be signed! This is not only disrespectful to all the others waiting patiently in line as well as to those hosting the event (that do not want to waiting around for hours!), but I also am curious to know what the author thinks of it! (Maybe an author or two can weigh in on their thoughts? Do they find it flattering or annoying?) Secondly, I also believe that it is a nice way for you as a participant to show your thanks to the bookstore or organizer to purchase a book and support them in return. More than likely, it is your purchases that allows them to bring the author to you in the first place . . . especially if it is a local independent bookstore! And, thirdly, please turn off your cell phones or put them on vibrate during the event. This not only shows respect to the author for taking his/her time to speak with the group, but it is also respectful of your fellow listeners as well!!
Now that I've weighed in, what do you think?