Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Signings - Not Always What You Expect

We're delighted at the Pink Heart Society to welcome Harlequin Historical author Margaret Moore with some brilliant book signing stories...

When I was an unpublished writer, the notion of book signings really hadn’t entered my head. I was more concerned about finishing and selling a book. Once I was published, however, book signings became Something A Writer Should Do. It still is. But when I began my career, it was the olden days before social media, so book signings were one of the only ways to interact with readers.
At my very first book signing in 1992, for my first historical romance, A Warrior's Heart, I met the freelancer who gave my manuscript its initial read for Harlequin and who then wrote a positive report. The senior editor made the final decision about acceptance, of course, but that report was certainly an important factor. If I had known then that I’d still be writing for Harlequin twenty-four years later, I’d have taken the freelancer out for dinner. Also breakfast and lunch. For the entire conference.   
A fellow author in a state that can best be described as “heavily pregnant” once came to a group book signing in which I was participating. She disappeared into the washroom. In a few minutes she came out and announced (in a sort of wondrous daze) that her water had broken. Husband was called, baby arrived later. Now that’s an exciting book signing, even though it had nothing to do with selling books or meeting readers.  
At another book signing I was sitting at my table, feeling like little Oliver Twist, thinking, “Please, someone, won’t you buy my book?” when a woman came to an abrupt halt. With wide, startled eyes, she just as abruptly declared, “I thought you were DEAD!”  
I don’t think she bought a book, but I really don’t remember. I was in something of a daze myself after that.  
Then there was the time I was participating in one of those major book signings with many, many authors (NOT an RWA event, I hasten to point out). Unfortunately, very few books arrived for the signing. I got exactly one copy of the book I had out at the time. It came in its own small box. Some authors had no books at all, so it could have been worse. Nevertheless, that was one of those “laugh or you’ll cry” moments writers tend to experience over the years.  
Sorry if I’ve destroyed some happy dreams of what will happen when you publish a book and get asked to do a book signing. You might be one of those best-selling authors who have folks lining up to get an autographed copy of their latest book. Or maybe a woman will go into labor. Maybe you’ll be thrilled to still be alive. Or you might just get asked where the bathroom is.  
But whether you’re the Next Big Thing or feeling like Oliver Twist, if you’re sitting at a table with a pile of books with your name on them, you’ve done something many people only dream about. You wrote an entire book and there it is for all the world to see.  
Have you any funny stories about book signings?  Did you have an amusing experience whilst waiting in line, or from behing the pen?
Margaret Moore is the author of 45 historical romances for Harlequin and Avon Books.  Her current release is Bride for a Knight from Harlequin Historicals.  
The promise of the bedchamber...

After glimpsing a softer side to the stern Sir Roland of Dunborough, Mavis of DeLac is filled with hope for their arranged marriage. So when the wedding night explodes with an exquisite passion, she dares to dream that their newfound bliss will last forever.

But the following morning, convinced he could never make this beautiful woman truly happy, Roland becomes cold and aloof once again. And as the newlyweds journey across England to protect Roland's birthright, it's up to Mavis to prove him wrong—and unlock the compassion this noble knight has buried deep inside.
For more information about Margaret, check out her website and blog, and follow her on Twitter.
She’s also planning to be at the RWA Literacy Signing in New York this summer. Please come on by the “M’s” and say hello. Or even “I thought you were DEAD!” She’ll laugh this time. Really.


  1. From MarcieR

    I love going to booksignings. I love to watch others and how they act/what they say.
    For instance, when I met Janet Evanovich, after waiting 4 hours for her to sign my book, I didn't want to be like every one else and telling her how much they liked her books.
    So I said instead "I like your socks." She was wearing polka-dot socks.

  2. I bet she remembers you! And has fond memories of the socks.