What to Expect at a Book Signing

by Suzan Tisdale

I’ve done all sorts of book signings in my career. Venues ranging from small, independent book stores to huge events (like the yearly InD’Scribe Book Fair.) No matter the size of the venue, one thing remains true: Anything can happen! I’ve learned to expect the unexpected.

One of my first signings took place in a small bookstore. 

And when I say small, I mean tiny. I had more room in my walk-in-closet than I had at this venue. The table they gave me was just a tad bigger than a TV Tray, and the ancient folding chair wobbled every time I crossed my legs. But I didn’t mind, probably because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing back then. 
As I sat near the entrance on that bright summer day, with my books and pen ready, I was ready for anything. The bookstore was busy. People were coming in and out all morning. When I say people, I mean mostly men. Younger men. 
A few would stop only long enough to glance at my books, but then they’d scurry off as if they were afraid to be seen next to a romance author. Like my ‘romancy stuff’ as my son calls it, might inadvertently rub off on them causing them to lose their man cards.

One young man did stop to talk. He looked to be in his very early 20’s. 

“You an author?” he asked me with a skeptical brow. 
 “Why, yes, I am,” I answered with a smile. 
 “Those are romance books, aren’t they?” he asked, giving a curt nod to my books. 
“Yes, yes they are.” 
Now, before I could explain that I have lots of male readers, men who enjoy my books because of the mystery, the intrigue, the history, he looks at me and asks, 
“Do you write comic books?” 
“No, no I don’t. I write 14th Century Scottish Historical Fiction slash Romance,” I told him. 
“Oh. Well if you want to sell more books, you should write comic books. Or Westerns. Guys like comic books and Westerns. Or mysteries or about the CIA and stuff. I don’t think you’ll sell many of those kinds of books.” 
You do not know how hard it was not to laugh at this sweet boy. He wasn’t being cruel or mean. He was quite serious. As if he were letting me in one of life’s big secrets. He was so sincere that I couldn’t laugh, at least not out loud.

I grabbed a copy of Laiden’s Daughter and opened it. 

“What’s your mother’s name?”

He told me – I honestly cannot remember now what her name was. So I opened the book and signed it, inscribing it to her. Then I handed it to him. 

“Here, give this to your mom.”

He actually smiled at me then. 

 “Yes,” I told him. 
“I’m sure she’ll like it.”

He thanked me, stuffed the book into his bag filled with comic books and westerns. 

 “If you ever decide to write a comic book, or a real book, I’ve got lots of ideas for you,” he told me right before he slipped out the door.

Real books? I wasn’t upset nor was I angry. I thought it was hilarious. I mean, I was selling hundreds of copies of my books every day. I wish I could have showed him my last royalty check to prove to him I did in fact know what I was doing.

I only sold a few books that day, to men who bought them for their wives or mothers. It was a learning experience. Now, I know to scope out the venue first before accepting invitations.

I also learned that youth is squandered on the young. 

Readers Can Find Suzan and her books at:

Website | Blog | Amazon

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Suzan Tisdale will be attending Romancing the Smokies

March 17-18, 2017 | Hilton Knoxville Airport, Alcoa, TN

Romancing the Smokies, a production by Sweet Romance Author Donna Wright, is a romance readers dream with a Emerald Isle event, author meet and greet, an elegant luncheon, book signing, Masquerade Ball including fun casino games, plus tons of swag and giveaways.

Here, readers get to meet their favorite authors and authors get to connect with readers. We have put together authors from every sub-genre of Romance and even some Mystery authors so you, the reader, can make a personal connection and really get to know the authors whose books you’ve loved.

See full details at our website HERE.
See ticket options at Eventbright HERE. (the book signing from 2 to 4 on Saturday is free to the public)
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