Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Book Signings...the Good, The Bad and the UGLY!

I'm getting ready for a big book signing this weekend with a very cool writer friend of mine. He's one of those writers that always has the coolest book signings while I'm stuck at a back table at Borders or B&N. They might as well put a sign that says "Information" on my table because that's generally what I do at signings. I can't tell you how many people ask me where the dang bathroom is located or what books I can friggin recommend. Duh! How about the one I'm signing? RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE?

I'm not much of a sales person or too pushy. Makes me uncomfortable...like those carnies at the Fair, "Come on over, see the amazing fat woman!" Yeah, maybe I should try that? Hey, that would have worked when I was signing books with my buddy, Rita, aka Regina Carlysle at the WORST EVER West Texas Book Festival signing from Hellllllll (see pic above)! We were the only authors there NOT selling a cookbook or Bible hymns. And the youngest....and hey, we aren't spring chickens. I was about to bust in my 7th month, looking like a beached whale in the Texas heat of September. Good Lord! Not pretty. Yeah, the fat lady line might have worked that day...snicker. I even had some old curmudgeon from across the aisle (this guy sold creepy old westerns) tell me that my book wouldn't sell because it was too short. Uh, it's 90,000 words. Thanks for the advice, bub. I was selling a paranormal that day, my werewolf romance. I got all tingly inside when this lady wearing a wolf shirt walked up to me. She picked up my book and read the back blurb. Her nostrils flared. She looked down at me, over her little spectacles. Her husband said, "Your cup of tea?" I thought I'd melt right then and there...from the heat of her church lady stare and the Texas humidity put together..."Nooooooooo!" she bellowed as she slapped my book back down.

The best book signing I ever had was a multi-author signing I did to benefit literacy last year. Brace yourself....I had to...I was seated next to freaking SHERRILYN KENYON.....I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy! Very cool lady!!!! Thank God, her 3 thousand mile line trickled to me FIRST..WOOOO HOOOOOOO...thank you, Sherrilyn...and thank God I was signing a paranormal. The lady selling the Inspirational book next to me...not so good. Poor thing. I know how she feels. It all depends on who is in the book store on that particular day. (That's me and my daughter with queen of shifters and vamps!)

And hey, if you sign books in Dallas, don't do it on a Sunday. If the Cowboys are playing, the world shuts down here. Go grocery shopping instead. No lines. Not kidding either. It's like nuclear fall out when the Boys play. Oh and I did a signing during a damn ice storm for Valentine's Day too. (See the pic below. That's me on the left. Can you tell I'm bored and miserable?)

My girlfriend showed up with her annoying military husband...thank God she doesn't read this...please, Lord...anyhow, I've told her this to her face and she still laughs about it..I digress...anyhow, do you think I've had enough coffee today. Not yet. I'll go on...military man shows up..this is a multi-author signing...and he starts asking me why I haven't come by lately. "Well, I did just have a baby," I say. "So what? Are you her friend or not?" Huh? I try to whisper to him. "Um, the baby isn't bottle fed. It's hard for us to take long outings." He scrunches his face up and says, and not in a whisper, mind you...."Hell, I've seen titties before. Bring a blanket." Nice. Very nice. That's my book signing experiences. Thank you, Sherrilyn for giving me one good one..snort!

So, back to my book signing this Friday. I latched onto my good buddy, Jason leary after his first signing and begged him to do one with me. No book stores, no questions asked about how to navigate one's way to the powder room, no annoying, bored girlfriend's husbands showing up to torture me. We're having a wine tasting/book signing. How cool is that? And I love wine. I get nervous at these things too. I NEED to drink. And I don't know where Jason finds all the damn people but they come in droves. Again, I begged him to sign books with me. "Uh, do your friends read romance? Tell them to buy it for their mom or their wife or their lover. Whatever." He laughs at me and my stupidity and says, "Sure. It'll be fun."

And I know it will. I can't wait. If anyone's in the Dallas area, I'll be signing books and tasting wine at Wine Styles in Grand Prairie this Friday, March 27th from 6 to 8:30. Go to alishapaige.com for more details and directions...to the signing, not the bathroom.


Debra Kayn said...

I am so sorry to laugh at your post, but damn that was funny!! Great post. Now, I want you to post again after your booksigning on Friday and tell us how it came out.

Wish you the best of luck, and may you sell many books. :-)

Alisha Paige said...

Tee hee...thanks, Debra! I'll let you know how it went next Tuesday when I post.

I don't mind you laughing. I laugh at myself all the time! Funny thing is, all that crap is true. Every word. Pathetic, isn't it? Snicker...

Regina Carlysle said...

Ahhh my darling best friend! Wasn't that signing in west Texas the worst EVER??? OMG. They sent me an invite this year and I had to laugh. Uh Uh. That's a tough crowd. At least we got to hang out! That part was FUN. Remember the bar-b-que luncheon with the "downhome music"??? We were sitting with the geriatric crowd as they GOT DOWN to the bango-pickin' and we tried to plan our escape.

We MUST do it again though. In another venue, of course.

Alisha Paige said...

Oh yeahhhhh...all that bango pickin'...we kept looking at each other...hey at least the food was good. We scarfed it down and high tailed it outside. Remember the looks we got? As if..why would anyone leave this festival of music from the Ozarks? You're right though, it was fun hanging out with you all day. We'll have to do it again soon! xxoooo...thanks for stopping by, honey!

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott/Kate Davison said...

Is it bad to think I've done good if I sell any books at all at a book signing? hehhehee.... I've done literarcy signings at RT two years in a row. I haven't done one at RWA yet, as they seem to frown on letting those authors who are with small presses sign at the literacy signings. I might try to this year in D.C. If not, I'm going to set up a table and chair outside the door to the signing room and do cash transactions. -It would serve them right for being so damn picking about who they allow into the "big room."


Mark Alders said...

Oh my, I had no idea there was even a bad side to book signings. I mean, I thought it was all champagne and caviar and millions of adoring fans clambering to get my book signed.


Another dream shattered. Next you'll be telling me Santa doesn't exist!


Excellent post Alisha! Purely excellent.


Nancy J. Parra said...

Oh- this was really funny!

I signed at a Wichita, KS mall once-long line of authors. My mother-who has dementia-went down the line and told every one of those authors I was the best writer there and their books were boring...

At which point I had to smile, and whisper-"She has a brain tumor." Oooh...

Good luck with your signing!!

(No worries on my mom, she's alive and happy, she's just a bit "touched.")

Sierra Wolfe said...

Great post, Alisha! I had to laugh, because I can just see me sitting there in your same position one of these days. Good luck on your signing and wine tasting, yum. If I was in the area I'd be there for sure! Definitely let us know how it goes!

Tierney O'Malley said...

So funny! Thanks for sharing Alisha. Man, I'd be so nervous sitting behind the desk waiting for people to come and check out my books. :D

Love your post.


Alisha Paige said...

Kate - I went to RWA last time it was in Dallas. My debut novel came out that very week but I didn't sign books because the print copies would not have made it there in time. However, I went to the signing and it was overwhelming as most of you know. Over 200 authors in one giant ballroom. Crazy. Insane. JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Nora's line were like miles long. Some poor authors sat there twiddling their thumbs. It scared the wits out of me. I was very glad I didn't do the signing. I think I'd want to go slit my wrists afterwards or something. I think new authors should take it slow, baby steps. Just my two cents.

Mark - Tee hee....some book signings are very cool so I hope I didn't shatter all your dreams. BTW, Santa is real and so it the tooth fairy. The Easter Bunny is not. His head comes off. I saw it for myself when I took my kids to see him last year. Very disturbing.

Oh Nancy!!!! You had me laughing out loud! I'm glad your mom is okay. Can I take her to some of my signings?

Sierra - Wish you could be here this Friday tasting wine with me. We'd have a blast!

Tierney - It's very nerve wracking to me. I had this lady come up to me at my last signing and ask the stupidest question ever. "Is this book good? Are you a good writer?" What???? "No, lady. I suck. This is a terrible book. Don't buy it." See why I need to drink alcohol at these things?

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