Book signings. They are one of the things people think of when they think of authors, but I've never been big on them--for myself that is. In fact, I've never done one solo. I've done the big group ones at RT and RWA national, smaller groups at smaller conferences (I have one of those this weekend.), and ones with a couple of friends, but never alone.
Some authors go out of there way to do signings. Spend days calling around or visiting to set them up because they believe it will get their books into the stores, make friends with the booksellers and sell books.
But I don't--or I don't think signings are the best way to accomplish those things. First, I don't want forty copies of my books which very likely won't sell ordered into a store. That may sound crazy, but if a book store orders forty copies and sells three, what happen to the rest? Sure they may keep some around, but 37? No, those babies are getting stripped and sent back. So far as making friends with booksellers? There are other ways, one of which I'll go into in a bit. But you do actually sell books, right? Maybe, if you are really comfortable with doing that--with approaching each customer with exactly the right mix of not bothering and here's my book. Even after a very successful career in sales, I'm not.
So, I don't do signings. I do, however, sign stock. Signing stock is quick, easy and doesn't require me standing by myself in heels for two hours. For stock signings, you just drop in whenever, ask if they have your books and if you can sign them. I've never had a store turn me down and usually they are really happy to have me. (This would be the making friends part.) And you leave behind autographed books for anyone who might actually want one. It is grand.
So, today I will be doing FIVE signings. None of them organized, but I will see my books in the wild, meet some lovely people who love books and leave behind copies of Amazon Ink with my signature for anyone who really wants one. And I will have a good time doing it. You can't beat that.
How about you? Do you like signed books? How many actual author signings do you go to? What does it take to get you to go to a signing? And if you see some author you've never heard of standing next to a table of books at the mall, do you walk up or run the other way? (I have literally seen a woman break into a run when she realized my friend was an author selling books.)
Let me know, and if you are in Green Bay stop by Borders or Barnes & Noble this weekend to see if I've been through!