– One of the first things I do when I know I am attending an author signing is prepare for who I am going to see. I check all the books by those authors, add them to be read, if there is enough time before the event, and create a page for them in my special Author Notebook (adding little graphics of the books covers and author name). Knowing which authors I will be seeing makes it easier to determine what or should I say who is more important. If I know X-author will be there and they are beyond popular at this time, then maybe I’ll stop and see them first so I don’t miss out. On the day of or night before the event, check and see if you can find a seating chart. This will make your life easier and you can use the chart as a checklist of sorts so you know who’s left.
– The Buddy System is the best idea for a large signing. If you can finagle a non-book lover to attend with you, you’re even better off since they won’t be off doing their own thing. Depending on the size of the event and the number of authors, you may want to decide which authors you need to meet and which you can handle just a autograph from, send your friends on their merry way, doing your bidding and collecting swag while you’re free to chat with your favorite authors and fan-girl all without a witness who would probably hold it against you. I’ve seen boyfriends carrying suitcases full of books for their GF’s, if those women can talk their men into being their luggage boys, surely you can find someone to help. (Be warned that bringing a backpack is NOT the best idea. If you’re getting books signed and tons of swag, that adds up and your back will not be happy. A rolling suitcase or backpack is ideal since you can still carry it if you so choose.)
– If at all possible see if authors will be selling copies of their books at the signing. Some do and some only have limited quantities or only certain books from a series. If you’re particular like I am, it’s best to research as much as you can. If there is enough time to have books shipped to you I suggest checking with your preferred book seller, mine is Amazon, and price out the book. Author’s often will charge full price for the book at these events, so if you’re looking to buy multiple books, saving even a little bit of money is key.
– After attending the insane Authors In the City Event in March I wished I was better prepared for the staggering amount of people crammed into one small space. The heat and smells coming off us all was not always pleasant but being in such close quarters made it hard to escape. Don’t let the fact that the AC was not working fool you either, there was so many people a mouse couldn’t have gotten through. Thus plan for the heat. Plan for 500 people crammed in one room. Bring water, know where water fountains are and even bring a handheld fan if you can. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
– Remember your favorite author’s are just people too. They are typically generous and grateful to fans and want to share the love. Be yourself and stand out. I’ve seen fans bringing authors gifts.Things I’d never expect like personalized blankets, bags, cards and more often than not hugs. Authors are huge huggers so have at em.’ Feel free to advertise for yourself if need be. Bloggers can bring business cards to hand out or wear personalized t-shirts. Even if you have a business, rock it, I’m sure someone will ask you about it.
– Sometimes being the first attendee to enter the signing is not the best idea. Often times
– If you’re like me then getting lost is an art. Falling on your face in the middle of a crowded NYC street is an everyday occurrence. Luckily I’ve been able to actually find each event unscathed and even certain authors within the event. Don’t let your clumsiness or cluelessness stop you. Everyone I’ve met ,even strangers in the city, were remarkably helpful. Fellow book fans will go out of their way to help you so don’t be afraid to ask for directions or anything else you need. Your day is supposed to be filled with fun, don’t let anything bring you down.
I’ve seen bloggers and fans give authors blankets, purses, you name it. If you have a talent, don’t be afraid to share it. Being surrounded by so many book fanatics is not something that happens every day so take an initiative to meet someone new. There is nothing like meeting online buddies that you’ve chatted with for hours on end about the probability of actually meeting your own Travis, Gideon, Mason etc.. Make new friends, befriend an author, the sky’s really the limit when so many people just like you are crowded into one space.
Special thank you to Peace Love Books!!
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