I don’t do book signings where I sit at a table in a bookstore. Even if I did and followed the experienced writers’ guidelines, like come with balloons and candy, walk around cornering customers and thrusting your book into their hands, that kind of event would be pure hell for me.
I love to do book signings that involve panel presentations in front of a group of readers/writers. It’s fun to talk about my journey to publication, my book, why I wrote it, and some of my little “surprises” after publication.
What I’ve found is that by doing a panel with two or three other YA authors, we have a varied audience, a surprisingly good turnout, lots of questions, and a chance to network with bloggers as well as book sellers.
Here’s how we structure our cooperative events:
1) Each writer talks about 15 minutes. This talk includes what I’ve said in the first graph and usually a short reading from his or her book.
2) Sometimes we talk about our favorite characters and why they are so appealing, reading excerpts to give the audience an example of that character. We change this topic depending on what the book seller wants. Some other options: effective dialog, building tension in a scene, description to set the mood.
3) The wrap up is Q & A that usually lasts another 10 to 15 minutes.
4) The bookseller usually offers some kind of snack and beverage, so even after the Q & A and the signing, people stay and there’s an opportunity to talk.
Does anyone agree/disagree with me on the “table in the corner” event? Have you had good experiences doing that kind of signing? How about readers? Do you go over to the authors in the store and talk to them? Just curious.