Let's welcome bestselling author of the Needlecraft Mystery series, Monica Ferris. I reviewed her 13th book in the Needlecraft Mystery series - Blackwork (click here), and was honored to have her as a guest before (click here). Today she shares the ups and downs of book signings.
Are book signings necessary? Publishers love them because they are a way to advertise a book they’re pushing. Bookstores love them because they attract fans. Authors love them because they can feel famous for an hour or two. Or, they hate them, because hardly anyone comes. There’s nothing quite like sitting at a long table at a convention beside a really famous author. The fans gush, the famous author laughs modestly and gets a cramp in his or her hand from autographing book after book, and the not-famous author tries not to look bored or hurt or jealous.
I’ve actually been in both situations, as some of my books do much better than others.
I’m not a mega best-seller, so most of my book signings are scheduled by me rather than my publisher. It’s time consuming but at the same time fun and interesting to talk to shop owners in other cities and states. And when I do make a connection and get a date, I meet great people, have fascinating conversations, and get the hand cramp that means the event was a success.
The negatives? The cost (gas, meals, hotel), the wear and tear on my car (or the increasing aggravation of flying), time away from writing, the exhaustion and letdown that show up at the end of a tour. I’ve had author friends who actually avoid signings because of the downsides, and/or who suffer from shyness and discomfort when among strangers in strange towns. I understand and sympathize, but think it’s important to get out there and show the flag.
I’m getting over a very serious illness and am not quite back to full strength, but I’m going to hit the road in August and September – not going far from home this time – and am looking forward to seeing some smiling faces and signing my name in the books that have my name on the cover, especially the new one, Knit Your Own Murder.
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THANK You Ms. Ferris for sharing the author's side of book signings. Wishing you renewed health (I've followed your blog) and great book sales! And a tip of the tail to your Snaps and Panzi over the rainbow bridge.