Monday, August 4, 2014

My First Book Signing

So I went to my first author book signing on 7/16. I was nervous and didn't quite know what etiquette for something like this was so I asked T of Traveling with T for advice since she goes to many of these things. She said: bring your camera, take notes, and if you can't think of something to say just say "I really enjoyed the book!". That is good advice.

The tour was for Ben Winter's last book of The Last Policemen Trilogy which is called "World of Trouble".Here's the post I wrote about Ben's work previously. I didn't write a book review about "World of Trouble" because I didn't know how to effectively write a review about a book that is last in a trilogy without giving anything away. Here's the publisher blurb though.

My mom was my co-hort on this trip, since she had also read the books (I passed along my ARCs so she got first peeks too!). The signing was at the Mystery One Book Store in Milwaukee. It is a (very) small shop that exclusively sells mysteries. I'd say it's about 600-700 square feet. Also the owners are interesting. I will just leave it at that. I don't read a ton of mysteries (or what I consider mysteries, I don't really like putting books into categories. My categories pretty much consist of "fiction" and "nonfiction". ANWAY) so I'd never been before.

Me and Mom are first to arrive (we both dislike being late) .There's no chairs or really any open space so everyone is just standing amongst the bookshelves. It was super informal and low key. Ben was friendly and laid back and it was more just everyone talking, not much structure.

Ben also brought his ukelele which made me laugh because, hipster please. But then he kept doing little bits of Bob Dylan songs which redeemed him to me and mom. He listened to a lot of Bob Dylan while writing the book and almost called one of the books after a song but Quirk, his publisher wasn't crazy about it. Did you know ukuleles are notoriously hard to keep in tune? Apparently they are!

Here's just some notes I took:

-Ben isn't interested in what happens after an apocalyptic event. He was more interested in what people did in the face of certain death. I agree with him. Apocalyptic stories (even good ones) are a dime a dozen, and I thought it was interesting to see this perspective.

-He doesn't think of the book as a scifi book necessarily, he thinks of it as a mystery. But he said something to the effect of "but if you have an asteroid from outer space in the story people are going to focus on that and spin it scifi"

-He also said that his wife only reads the ARCs and not before, because he would be crushed if she didn't like the story because he values her opinion so highly.

I had "World of Trouble" in an e-book ARC so I bought the finished paperback at the store, and had Ben sign that and my paperback ARC of the first book in the series "The Last Policeman". I also gave him the blog's card, which later on I was thinking "that might have been tacky", but I told him that I was going to write up a blogpost about the signing, so hopefully it was informative and not tacky.

Here's the couple of pictures I snapped.







Here are the 2 things that bummed me out a little, and one of them is my own making so I can't complain about that one.

My own fault - should have gotten a picture together. But I chickened out because no one else was doing it and store was small and there would have been no way to do it without everyone looking at us while we were doing it which would have resulted in me making crazy eyes in the picture. Still should have just nutted up and did it anyway.

Second- It sounded like at other signings there was fun prizes or the like. We just ran out of time with all of our chit chat, which is fine because I enjoyed it, but come on, who doesn't like prizes?

So that's my first author signing ever. It was a small laid back affair so I'm curious as to how that will compare to others in the future. I highly recommend seeing Ben if he comes to your town, and be sure to check out his books!

12 comments:

  1. This sounds like so much fun! I haven't been to too many author events, but the ukulele sounds fantab.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun, and it's always good to spend time with mom :)

      Delete
  2. AHH! Loved reading about this. Most, most, most authors will only be too glad to pose for pictures with fans- but I understand you were feeling a bit nervous since no one else was asking.

    And I LOVED that you gave your bloggy info- way to go! I used to feel too shy to mention it much, but not anymore :) So yay for you! I'm so glad you enjoyed your first author event- here is to many more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured I only had enough courage in me either for the blog's card or the picture, so I funneled it into the card. I figure when I get a little more practice there will be more courage to go around :)

      Thanks so much for your guidance! It helped!

      Delete
  3. I don't usually ask to have a picture with the author, either, but sometimes they offer, so then I always say yes! Congrats on your first author signing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Hopefully the first of many!

      Delete
  4. It sounds like it was great! I've only been to one author event - it was Jenny Lawson - 'The Bloggess' I didn't get tickets for the reading - sold out, but she was very nice at the signing - I wrote about it somewhere on the blog.

    I don't think it was tacky to give him the blog card - you're spot on, it was informative! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I remember reading that on the blog because she signed it Stephen King and I thought it was hilarious!

      Delete
  5. That sounds like a lot of fun! I've always wanted to go to a book signing, but I've always been too chicken. I have this fear that I'd get up there and be all "hi!!!! I love you and your books!" all stalker-ish and they would think I was a nutcase. Also, way to go handing out your blogger card!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was weirdly nervous all week for this, so you're not alone! I think my saving grace was that for the first 40 minutes everyone was just standing around talking and then there was the signing. If I'd just had to walk up to him and have him sign my book I would have done what I normally do in situations when I have to talk when I'm nervous which is to nearly choke on my own spit and then laugh inappropriately loud.

      Delete
  6. I am surprised they didn't have any chairs for you guys. I remember when I went to my first book signing. I went all alone. I didn't have anyone to go with. So I was really nervous. But I met some people in line and just went in. I feel like there is no reason to not do something alone and miss it if you really want to do it. Of course I didn't want to go alone.. but I did it and am so glad I did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I had a cohort for my first time, but I think I'd go to something like this again even if I was by myself. Book people are friendly people so I'm sure I'd make friends in line like you did!

      Delete

Thank you so much for your comment. I'd love to talk books with you!