Tag s | booksigning

Weirdest Booksigning Experience

Came across today’s rather strange photo and thought it a good metaphor for the weird things that can, and have, happened at an author’s booksigning.

Over the years I’ve either stood in line, organized, facilitated, or observed over 300 author booksignings. Everything from popular celebrities to a local self-published author trying to make a mark.

Every once in a while there are some fun things that have happened:

  • Author being asked to sign a teenager’s model airplane…on the wing.
  • Fan showing off a tattoo on their leg…of the author’s book cover design.
  • I stood in line for over two hours (in 1987) to have Edith Schaeffer sign her new book, The Art of Life. I always wanted to meet her. It took two hours to get to the front of the line because Edith drew a full page piece of art inside each book and talked with each person for at least five minutes. Suffice it to say, that was highly unusual!
  • I watched a fan hand an author their Kindle and ask them to sign the back of the device.
  • I was assigned to help the bestselling author Barbara Johnson with her booksigning at a major convention. When she and I got to the booth I noticed the line of her fans went around the corner of the exhibit hall. She said, “Let’s go look and see how many are waiting.” We turned the corner and the line extended the length of the building. At least 250 people. She gasped, turned to me and said, “Let’s get busy.” She must have signed at least 300 books in that one hour.

I want to hear your stories. Tell us, without embarrassing anyone, your most unusual experience at a booksigning. It can be either as a fan standing in line, as an author receiving an odd request, or an organizer.

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Reason #2 – Top 3 Reasons Authors Don’t Get Asked to the Prom (or Invited to ICRS)

Good thoughts and discussion on last week’s blog. Thanks for your honest input. Before we continue, I want to clear up what seems to be a misunderstanding of the purpose behind my blog last week. I’m not expressing my opinion of ICRS or of its value for authors. One only has to look at what is being offered there (explained so well by Curtis Riskey, president of CBA, in the comment section of last week’s blog) to know it benefits those authors who attend. And as Mary DeMuth stated, the serendipitous meetings that can take place at this show are irreplaceable.

But these blogs aren’t about whether or not an author should attend ICRS. Rather, they’re about addressing questions authors struggle with every year:

Is it an offense if my publisher doesn’t invite me to go to ICRS? Should I be hurt or feel neglected if I’ve let my publisher know I’m going on my own dime, but they won’t even let me do a booksigning?

So this week, let’s take a look at the second reason your publisher hasn’t invited you to ICRS: The timing’s not right.

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Top 3 Reasons Authors Don’t Get Asked to the Prom (or Invited to ICRS) – Reason #1

It’s just around the corner. That time of year when publishers, retailers, agents and yes, some authors, descend upon a select conference center (this year in St. Louis in late June) to attend the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS).

ICRS. The trade show formerly known as CBA (Christian Booksellers Association). Where publishers gather with their editorial, sales, & marketing folks in shiny and grandiose booths to regale retailers with their offerings. This trade show has been around for a lot of years. In fact, I attended my first ICRS in 1982! Oh, how I remember standing there, staring at aisle after aisle of impressive booths and sparkling product; seeing famous authors I’d only heard of walking by or signing books; attending nightly extravaganzas that rivaled anything you could find in Nashville, Branson, or Vegas. It was, in a word, amazing!

And so it remained for a lot of years. Which made ICRS a coveted destination for authors. For years, the standard thought has been if a publisher takes you to ICRS, that proves they look on you as a rising (or established) star. A crowd pleaser. THE author whose products the retailers should carry in their stores. And so every year as the time approached for the annual event the excited buzz would begin…

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