Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Signings...the Good, The Bad and the UGLY!


I'm getting ready for a big book signing this weekend with a very cool writer friend of mine. He's one of those writers that always has the coolest book signings while I'm stuck at a back table at Borders or B&N. They might as well put a sign that says "Information" on my table because that's generally what I do at signings. I can't tell you how many people ask me where the dang bathroom is located or what books I can friggin recommend. Duh! How about the one I'm signing? RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE?

I'm not much of a sales person or too pushy. Makes me those carnies at the Fair, "Come on over, see the amazing fat woman!" Yeah, maybe I should try that? Hey, that would have worked when I was signing books with my buddy, Rita, aka Regina Carlysle at the WORST EVER West Texas Book Festival signing from Hellllllll (see pic above)! We were the only authors there NOT selling a cookbook or Bible hymns. And the youngest....and hey, we aren't spring chickens. I was about to bust in my 7th month, looking like a beached whale in the Texas heat of September. Good Lord! Not pretty. Yeah, the fat lady line might have worked that day...snicker. I even had some old curmudgeon from across the aisle (this guy sold creepy old westerns) tell me that my book wouldn't sell because it was too short. Uh, it's 90,000 words. Thanks for the advice, bub. I was selling a paranormal that day, my werewolf romance. I got all tingly inside when this lady wearing a wolf shirt walked up to me. She picked up my book and read the back blurb. Her nostrils flared. She looked down at me, over her little spectacles. Her husband said, "Your cup of tea?" I thought I'd melt right then and there...from the heat of her church lady stare and the Texas humidity put together..."Nooooooooo!" she bellowed as she slapped my book back down.

The best book signing I ever had was a multi-author signing I did to benefit literacy last year. Brace yourself....I had to...I was seated next to freaking SHERRILYN KENYON.....I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy! Very cool lady!!!! Thank God, her 3 thousand mile line trickled to me FIRST..WOOOO HOOOOOOO...thank you, Sherrilyn...and thank God I was signing a paranormal. The lady selling the Inspirational book next to me...not so good. Poor thing. I know how she feels. It all depends on who is in the book store on that particular day. (That's me and my daughter with queen of shifters and vamps!)

And hey, if you sign books in Dallas, don't do it on a Sunday. If the Cowboys are playing, the world shuts down here. Go grocery shopping instead. No lines. Not kidding either. It's like nuclear fall out when the Boys play. Oh and I did a signing during a damn ice storm for Valentine's Day too. (See the pic below. That's me on the left. Can you tell I'm bored and miserable?)

My girlfriend showed up with her annoying military husband...thank God she doesn't read this...please, Lord...anyhow, I've told her this to her face and she still laughs about it..I digress...anyhow, do you think I've had enough coffee today. Not yet. I'll go on...military man shows up..this is a multi-author signing...and he starts asking me why I haven't come by lately. "Well, I did just have a baby," I say. "So what? Are you her friend or not?" Huh? I try to whisper to him. "Um, the baby isn't bottle fed. It's hard for us to take long outings." He scrunches his face up and says, and not in a whisper, mind you...."Hell, I've seen titties before. Bring a blanket." Nice. Very nice. That's my book signing experiences. Thank you, Sherrilyn for giving me one good one..snort!

So, back to my book signing this Friday. I latched onto my good buddy, Jason Leary after his first signing and begged him to do one with me. No book stores, no questions asked about how to navigate one's way to the powder room, no annoying, bored girlfriend's husbands showing up to torture me. We're having a wine tasting/book signing. How cool is that? And I love wine. I get nervous at these things too. I NEED to drink. And I don't know where Jason finds all the damn people but they come in droves. Again, I begged him to sign books with me. "Uh, do your friends read romance? Tell them to buy it for their mom or their wife or their lover. Whatever." He laughs at me and my stupidity and says, "Sure. It'll be fun."

And I know it will. I can't wait. If anyone's in the Dallas area, I'll be signing books and tasting wine at Wine Styles in Grand Prairie this Friday, March 27th from 6 to 8:30. Go to for more details and the signing, not the bathroom.


Skhye said...

LOL. Thanks for the laugh! You're such a hoot. Good luck, m'dear. Wish I could come ask where the bathroom is... ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great story! I loved reading this. Do you have any new book signing nightmares?

Lisa Goodwin said...

Thanks for making me smile today! This is so funny, I hate to laugh at your expense ( I'm really not, just had a been there done that feeling LOL)
I love hearing of other's experiences, make me realize I am not alone!
Thanks for 'reposting' this, and I can't wait to read about your future experiences!

Alisha said... it Van or Vanheerling as one word? You sound like a vampire killer! Cool. Well, you asked for it. Here's a doozie and this crap happened last Halloween. Enjoy!

@Lisa..lmao!! My book signings are so awful but so funny too! I once had a lady pick up my book and ask if it was any good. "No, lady. It sucks ass!" I didn't really say that..ha ha...but I wanted to. I said, "Well, it's received great reviews." As if I wasn't sure it was good myself. She wrinkled up her nose like she smelled something bad and walked off.

I also had a guy ask me if I write romance because I don't get any. I was ten days from delivery my 10 pound son and looked liked I'd swallowed a baby hippo. Obviously he just assumed I was modeling fat clothes. I stood up and said, "Do you still think I'm not getting any?" He walked off like I'd accused him of enjoying porn or something equally dirty and he was the one who insulted ME.

Book signings are so much fun! :)~

Myrna Mackenzie said...

Alisha, I have to say, I've had some awful book signings (one where the poet-loving bookseller put the sign for the poetry reading inside the front door and the sign for the romance writers next to the women's bathroom in the back of the big-box store), but nothing quite like this.

I loved your Halloween story! The closest I ever got to that was when someone stopped at our table to ask when Cardinal Bernardin's book was coming out (this was Chicago some years back). Not being psychic (unlike you, LOL), I didn't know. I was just amused that someone would assume that all writers are connected through some psychic umbilical cord to the point that we would all know each others' pub dates.

Alisha said...

Myrna!!! That is hysterical!!! Yeah, why wouldn't you know when the Cardinal's book was coming out? We talk to all the authors!!! I've had similar experiences when people stop by to talk about their favorite authors and just assume because I write books that I've also read every single book out! Well, dang it, why didn't you call me when this happened!? I'm psychic! I could have looked at someone's palm and let you know when the Cardinal's book would be out..lmao!