Choose ME. Love ME. Read ME… (Oh yeah: and the go tell all your friends to do the same…)
This a really big week for our Divine Ms. K. Not only has her book, GOOD GIRL GONE BAD, debuted, and then hit #407 on the Barnes & Noble list, we’ll all be celebrating the book at her launch party this Saturday (In case you’ve just crawled out of a bomb shelter and don’t already know, it’ll be at Grazie’s from 2-4pm, 621 1st Street, in Brentwood, CA; and P.S.: that’s nowhere NEAR LA, but up in NorCal…)
Release dates, launch parties, and instore booksignings are heady happenings for an author who has put her heart and soul into her manuscript, found an agent and and editor who happens to love it as much as she did, then gone through the year-long process of birthing it into a published book. In essence, her book’s launch date is its birthday. And as its very proud mommy, she wants her friends–and total strangers, for that matter!–to love it as much as she does…
Which is why authors go through that very public gauntlet known as the booksigning.
Hopefully, our signings are well attended, and the few words we say about our books are witty enough to motivate all who attend to open their wallets and fork over the necessary coin of the realm to the kindly bookseller who hosted the event. You may find it hard to believe, but a signing is a birthing process in its own right.
Recently a newly-published author asked me what she should do in order to make her very, very first signing a success. I guess she figured that, since I had set up a 15-market book tour for my last novel, I might know a little something about it, right?
Maybe a little. But trust me, I’m still learning. One thing I can tell you, though for sure: every signing will be different. And another thing: No matter how much planning you do, something will ALWAYS go wrong.
What I told my newbie novelist friend can be read on my website (http://www.josiebrown.com; Heck yeah, that’s a blatant plug….but then again, I’ve got a book coming out soon, too, and I want you to read all about it!). And if you’re excited for Karin and the newest edition of her literary family, here are three reasons to go to a book signing near you, be it Karin’s (that’s a blatant plug for her), or another author whose work you love:
Reason #!: Booksignings are happenings, so go make the scene! I wish I had been old enough to go to Woodstock, or to have pushed my way into Ed Sullivan’s studio when the Beatles made their American TV debut. There is a wonderful group dynamic that takes place at a rock concert, because you’re connecting with the musicians while they are doing their thing, and with the people who are just as turned on as you are, to the music.
That said, I also wish that I’d been around to hear some of my fave authors read from their books, before they passed on: Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Margaret Mitchell, Nancy Mitford, Graham Greene…If I had lived during their times, I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t tried to meet them …
And that’s why I go to as many booksiginings as possible.
Reason #2: A booksigning is the only place in which you’ll meet the person who made your favorite characters come to life.
I’m not the first person to say this, and I won’t be the last: writing is a lonely profession. What makes it worthwhile to those of us who do it is the chance to hear others tell us that they actually read our books–and best yet, love what they read. Yep, making you laugh–or for that matter, cry–is what inspires us to keep at it. So come tell us that we’re doin’ a heckuva job!
Reason #3: Booksignings are master classes on the craft of writing. I’ve never given, or attended, a signing where would-be writers didn’t pepper the author with very intelligent questions about their writing process. And here’s a shocker: I’m always surprised at some answer that is given, even when it plops out of my own delicate mouth. Why? Because every author follows a unique process in writing their books. And because we are flattered that you asked, our answers are usually honest and insightful.
After all, we don’t want to pull any punches with the people who love our babies . . . .
Love me, love my book,
Josie is the author of TRUE HOLLYWOOD LIES. Her newest book, IMPOSSIBLY TONGUE-TIED, will be in bookstores on 11/21/06. And she wants you ALL there at the christening!