As my debut release marches ever closer, the vast swath of my ignorance is becoming more and more obvious. So I’m throwing myself at the feet of this wonderful group of accomplished authors and veteran readers and asking questions about book signings.
Okay, STUPID questions about book signings.
Like: Do I bring my own pens and won’t Sharpies bleed through the pages of a paperback?
And: Do they have microphones? I don't talk very loud, I'm told by people who also claim I mumble.
And: Do people coming to a book signing want swag? Or would it be considered a tacky and cheap attempt to ingratiate myself among the reading public even though I have a really cool swag idea? Okay, that was two questions.
And: What if nobody shows up? I mean, one of the places I’m signing is at Powell’s Books in Portland. I don’t have friends and relatives in Portland I can strong-arm into attending to make it look like a successful event. I hate to be sitting there like THIS.
And here’s a biggie: What do I say? Here’s what I thought about doing. Since my book’s set in post-Katrina New Orleans and I lived there during that unhappy event, I considered blowing up some of my photos of what things looked like, and how I used what’s in those photos as I wrote the book. Would that be dorky and too staged? Would it be depressing (these are not cheery photos)? Should I plan on reading?
And another: How long should I blither before the signing commences, assuming anyone shows up?
And, finally: Will you pleeeeeeeez come to one near you? Here are the dates my publisher has set up:
Tuesday, 4/10: Launch party in New Orleans at Garden District Books; Thursday 4/12, 5:30-7 p.m.: Katy Books, Houston, TX, 6 p.m.; Friday 4/13: Murder by the Book, Houston, 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 4/15: A Real Bookstore, Dallas, TX, 2 p.m.; Friday 4/20 Barnes & Noble (Summit), Birmingham, AL, 7 p.m.; Saturday 4/21: Alabama Book Festival, Montgomery, TBA; Saturday, 4/28: Eagle Eye Book Store, Atlanta, afternoon TBA; Thursday, May 3, Powell’s, Portland, OR, TBA; Saturday, May 5, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA, afternoon TBA.