In light of the newly announced Kindlegraph, a service that allows authors to sign fans’ books digitally, I’ve been feeling nostalgic about our book signings. Here are eight things I know you get only at book signings.
1) Face time with your favorite author. They may only say hello and thank you but now you can tell your friends that you met someone famous. They might also blow you off entirely but even being blown off by someone famous qualifies as a memorable moment.
2) You might even get your photo taken with the author. Sometimes photos are not allowed because there is such a long line. Other times they are. Just ask. But if the author or bookseller says no, don’t push. Who wants a photo of a pissed off author? Okay, maybe you’re in that risk-taking percentile that does.
3) Cry and you might get a kiss. One woman was so overwhelmed at being in Johnny Bench’s presence that she was in tears. Johnny is a sucker for women who adore him. She asked to kiss him and he said yes. He then signed her #5 jersey. She almost fainted. I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance.
4) Create a moment for yourself. The woman above did not know that Johnny never ever signed memorabilia at book signings. He was adamant about only signing books. The fact that he signed her jersey was monumental. I almost fainted and needed an ambulance.
5) Authors accept mementos. How fun it can be to hand an author a pumpkin with his name carved in it, birthday cards when it is not his birthday, a gold necklace, candy, or hand drawn photos. These are now in my closet, sans the pumpkin that rotted on the desk of Erika, our intern. (I did not say they kept the things you gave them.)
6) Get a part of your body signed. One lucky fellow got his arm signed by one of our famous authors. We still don’t know if he’s washed and that was four years ago.
7) Watch your favorite author suffer a complete mental collapse. No names mentioned here, but wow. Those photos went straight into the scrapbook.
8) Events are fun. Can you make a night out of an author signing your book via Kindle? Maybe with the cat and a glass of wine, but wouldn’t it be exciting to get out of the house and away from the computer and your e-reader? Sometimes bookstores go over the top for an author. Books N’ More, a local bookstore across the street from our office, had the city shut down an entire block of a state highway not for just one, but for two of our authors. They had games, contests, food vendors, and fun stuff for kids. I know you don’t want to go out. The world is a scary place. But it can be mind–blowingly fun, too.
Put that Kindle down and go to a book signing. It might be the best time you never thought you’d have.