A question was posted to my online writers group today asking for advice on how to have a successful book signing. I am certainly no expert on how an author should act at a signing. When I have one, I see it as an opportunity to meet people. I might sell a book or three, or I might not, but I typically enjoy myself because I see signings as a social event.
Still, the question got me thinking...and remembering. Often when I go to a book signing, I take a little treat for the bookstore staff. After all, what success I've had is due largely to these people who have taken the time to familiarize themselves with my book and who are interacting with customers day after day.
Last August, I visited a lot of stores in Utah and Idaho. In the goodie bags I made up for the bookstore staffs were those little sticky men that you get in the party aisle in Wal-Mart. One of the books I was promoting was Freefall in which one of the main characters was literally trying to climb up the side of the building during a hostage rescue situation. I thought the little sticky guys would be fun and they actually had something to do with my book.
It turned out, I wasn't the only one who had fun playing with these little toys. Booksellers, store managers, other authors, patrons, and, of course, yours truly had a blast throwing these sticky guys at windows, walls and doors. Perhaps the best adventure with my creative gift came after I left a signing at the Seagull Bookstore in Taylorsville. Someone was playing with one of the toys and threw it too high...and it stuck to the ceiling. And didn't come down.
After a few days, I received an e-mail from Paige who was on staff there to tell me about a poll they were having about how long Mr. Sticky Man would stay up on the ceiling. Crystal, the manager, won that particular contest with her guess that he would stay there until he was removed by force. As far as I know, he's still there.
Ironically, when I went to a book signing in Spanish Fork in April, I looked up and saw...you guessed it...another Mr. Sticky Guy. Apparently, he too and ended up on their ceiling, also refusing to come down without being physically removed. I laughed when they opened up the latest goodie bag and found a second sticky man. This time I hadn't even left the store before Mr. Sticky Guy, Jr. had joined Senior up on the ceiling.
If nothing else, I have fun at book signings. And I'm remembered long after I'm gone!