Book Signing! (Why They're Rare)

A rare book signing appearance for moi!

I will be speaking at the mystery conference Magna Cum Murder at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis on Saturday, Oct. 29, appearing on two panels — A Nose for Murder: Do Protagonists Need to Be Professionals? and Alpha to Omega: Changes in Publishing From the Beginning. And I’ll be signing at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

1a magnaI’m such a shy and retiring type that I seldom do these anymore.

Book signings, I mean. I still do lots of panels and writing workshops. Those I don’t mind. In fact I had a fabulous time last year as a keynoter at the Romance Writes of Australia national conference (Oooo, they’re in Brisbane in 2017!) and Romance Writers of New Zealand National Conference (Auckland 2017 — I’d go back in a heartbeat!).

It’s the book signings…

Earlier in my career I did plenty of book signings.

I had a fabulous one with lots of friends, family, neighbors, former teachers, former Girl Scout leaders, and others at a late, lamented Waldenbooks at Yorktown Center in my hometown of Lombard, Illinois. I enjoyed some where I got to be with buddy authors. And there were a number of signings that benefited literacy, which were very satisfying.

I’ll never forget the book signing when a lovely elderly couple came by a table set out in mall hallway with me sitting behind it, wondering if anyone would notice if I slid under it. The man kept encouraging his wife to buy more books. He confided to me that he couldn’t read, but he was hugely proud of his wife’s reading and nothing made him happier than buying her books.

Talk about a hero.

On the flip side, sitting at a table on display, asking people to please consider buying a book. Or at least to look at it. Or just to be pleasant to me. That’s one of the hardest things in the world for me.

I can’t count the number of times at a book signing I gave directions to bathrooms. Said, no, I wasn’t an employee, but I’d guess the dictionaries were under the sign saying, um, dictionaries, yes, I really wrote those books, no, I didn’t crank them out, no, I didn’t consider them (insert derogatory word here), yes, I thought authors’ time and imagination were worthy of being compensated by having their books purchased.

And then there was the time I was a blue light special at a KMart. No kidding.

One of the joys to me of social media is being able to communicate with you lovely readers online.

Because, remember, I’m a shy, retiring type.

Not to mention that this way I don’t have to dress like a grownup.

So if you’re in the Indianapolis area, I hope you’ll come to the book signing — after all, I will have showered, combed my hair, brushed off most of the dog hair, and put on grownup clothes. Also, I promise to tell you where the bathrooms are! 😉

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