Monday, November 09, 2009

Things People Say and Do at Book Signings

Saturday was a Killer Career book signing at Barnes and Noble in Schaumburg. I just love the way they do their posters, by the way. Very professional looking.

It was 70 degrees outside, which is an unusual temperature for November. Needless to say, not everyone wanted to waste such a beautiful day by pending it inside a book shop.

The usual assortment of customers did come by, some asking me questions about how long it took to write my book, how I got started, and how many books I'd written.
Some said they'd never heard of me. I've heard that one before. (g) 

What was surprising is that three children, not at the same time or with the same party, asked for my autograph - two on the back of bookmarks, one on a slip of paper. That usually doesn't happen. Maybe it's the economy. I don't know if their parents put them up to it, or if they thought of it themselves.

One person asked about my book and then said she doesn't buy from Barnes and Noble, but online instead. Since she was in the store, I can only assume she was scouting there for books first. I don't know.

Oh, yes, a variation on the restroom question was, "Where are the dictionaries?"

Another took the time to show me some missing pages in one of the magazines.

What about you? What questions have people asked you at book signings? Anything that stood out at a book signing you'd like to share?


  1. I'm sorry I missed seeing you at the book store. It was my main plan, but then people came, people went, and my plans got all scrambled.

    Indeed, the weather was warmer than anyone expected, and many people were out enjoying the sunshine.
    Hoping to see you again sometime soon, or perhaps we will bump into each other in one of the events in the

  2. I get the bathroom question a lot. I was told at one book signing that I should write about vampires. At another signing a guy stood and talked to me for about thirty minutes (mostly about his mother) and then he walked off without buying a book! Sigh.

  3. Well, I honestly don't have any input on this question because I haven't had my first book signng yet, but I hope to around this time next year.

    As for the kids, I wouldn't be surprised if it was their idea. Kids have this thought that we authors live a glamorous life. My daughter's 3rd Grade teacher knows I have a book coming next year and she posed the question to the class, "What is an author?" to which my daughter replied, "Someone who writes book". Her teacher mentioned that her mother is an author and Katherine was the coolest kid of the day. Everyone thinks she's so lucky to live with a children's author. LOL!

    Keep up the great work Morgan.


  4. The "where's the bathroom" question must be pretty standard. I get asked that at least one at every signing. I've also gotten handed a long lists of books (not mine) that I'm supposed to help locate for the customer.

    What baffles me is how many people, even though I have a poster with my mug on it, along with a huge name tag hanging around my neck identifying me as the author, will say, "Oh, are you the author?"


  5. I swear, this happened at my first signing years ago, and with the first person to come in: a guy came up to me and said he'd read about my appearance in the local paper and had to rush down.
    I was so thrilled until he told me why -- he was a graphic artist looking for work, and did I need someone to do my next cover?
    Ego deflated!

  6. At a booksigning, an older couple came up to me. The woman picked up one of my books and asked me what it was about. I told her it was a paranormal romance. She said, "I don't read romances," and put it down.

    She picked up another and asked what it was about. I told her it was about a kidnapping of a child and the woman who rescued her. She said, "I don't read about kidnappings" and put it down.

    She picked up a third one. I said, "That one's a mystery with a little romance. Do you read mysteries?"

    Her husband piped in, "Romance IS a mystery."

    She didn't buy a book, but it gave us all a good laugh.


  7. Bathroom question, where's the self-help, and "oh, I don't read THOSE kinds of books" are my personal favorites. Plus I once had a woman launch into a five minute monologue about her (unpublished) manuscript, and how it was probably infinitely better than mine. Sigh.

  8. Great photos, Morgan. I'm happy your signing was such a success.

    I haven't yet had a signing at a bookstore--I haven't worked up the courage yet.

    I once did a signing at a Christmas fair, and it wasn't very encouraging, I'm afraid.

  9. I love the look of recognition and understanding that some people get when I tell them the book is called YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT? and that it is Journaling for Caregivers.

    I love hearing "This is really useful." I was puzzled by the woman who say, "How cute," when I told her it was journaling for caregivers.

    I am still surprised by those who say, "Congratulations," especially when they are young kids.

    B. Lynn Goodwin
    Author of You WAnt Me to Do WHAT?
    Journaling for Caregivers

  10. I was at a Barnes & Noble, stationed between the Starbucks and the cashiers. I had a decent turnout, some of the regular questions--very pleasant.

    Then, a professor looking type man emerged from the Starbucks, looked at me, at the book--Murder by Serpents: The Mystery Quilt (clearly not a documentary) He sneered, literally, and said "I don't read fiction."

    I'm okay with that, everyone has their favorite. What really set him apart was he made three trips by and curled his lip each time. Couldn't he have been more like the people who will walk out of their way not to get close to the table like they're afraid we will jump up and force them to touch the book?

  11. Coming in late to read this post, but I enjoyed reading about your adventures at the signing. I have also had children and young teens come and ask for my autograph. Usually it turns out that they are a little interested in writing and I have met some delightful kids that way. At one signing, a young boy came back and bought one of my books for his Mom. He said he knew he couldn't read it as it wasn't rated PG. :-)

  12. I like the boy buying for his mom. =) I've had a daughter buy for her mother and several adult children buy for older moms, dads, and aunts.

    B. Lynn Goodwin
    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers


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