Hello, everyone! So for about a year or so I have gone to several signings for authors that I absolutely adore. It’s become a bit of a hobby for me; once I realized I could actually meet these people, I’ve made it a goal to go to every one possible. I’ve picked up some tips that have made things easier and more enjoyable and have really allowed me to make the most out of the opportunity to meet these amazing writers. So I decided I should share those with you!
Depending on the bookstore that is holding the signing, buying your tickets earlier is
better.* Typically (well, from my experience) when you buy a ticket (which usually means you are buying the book the author is promoting) you will get a line or group letter. This indicates when you will line up to meet the author, ‘A’ will go first, then ‘B’, then ‘C’, and so on. The earlier you buy the ticket, the earlier in line you will be. **
**Some places, like Joseph Beth, will offer a VIP line for membership holders to their bookstore to go very first. I recommend buying the membership if you plan to go to a lot of their events.
2. Prepare your books
When you get to the signing, whether the books are being personalized or not, those running the event will either turn the dust jacket flap or put a sticky note on the page that will be signed. If you are getting the books personalized, they will write your name on the sticky note. To prepare, I usually do this myself at home or at the signing. I remember going to a V.E. Schwab and Julie Kagawa signing, which between the two is a lot of books. I sat down before the signing and labeled and tabbed them all myself. That way, when the employee got to me in line, it wasn’t a cluster of opening and tabbing books. I, personally, always use a sticky note and leave the dust jacket at home. I don’t like the risk of damage.
3. Arrive early
This brings me to my other * from number one. Usually from my experience, the earlier you buy the ticket the earlier your line number. This has been the case for every signing except the last one I went to (Sarah J Maas). We were running late because it was an almost three hour drive and when we got there, I got line letter C, even though I was one of the very first to buy a ticket to the signing. They gave out tickets by when you arrived. I recommend calling and asking to be certain. But show up early anyway. You can pick up your book, get the layout of what activities might be going on, and pick a place to near where the discussions will be happening.
4. Ask questions and participate
I usually refrain from raising my hand and asking questions. That’s the anxiety in me, I don’t like all the attention. It terrifies me. But if you have a question, ask it! When I went to the Ransom Riggs/ Tahereh Mafi signing they had a station set up where you could write questions on index cards and they might answer it. This was perfect for me, so I took the opportunity and Ransom actually answered my question during the discussions. It was something I was really curious about, too, so I was excited. So if you have questions, raise your hand or write them down (unless you’re anxiety-ridden like me). It’s a great chance to get to know the author and their stories better.
Sometimes signings will have activities, trivia, or contests you can enter in and participate. I will always recommend these! You can win some swag or even ARCs (Marissa Meyer gave away an ARC of Heartless and V.E. Swchab gave away an ARC of This Savage Song). Join in, have fun, and hopefully you walk away with a prize!
5. Take pictures!!
Some authors don’t have time to stop and taking pictures with every person. Some will have an employee of the bookstore take your phone and snap pictures while they sign the books. And then there are the ones who will pause and take a picture with you. You can always get pictures, whether of just the author or you and the author. Sometimes it’s just me taking pictures before it’s my turn, sometimes I give my phone to that bookstore employee who usually takes a ton of pictures to choose from. Pictures are always a great keepsake!
***Extra Tips to Consider***
- Bring a friend! When I have a lot of books I will be getting signed, I have someone come with me to lessen the load. But sometimes, authors will limit the number of books you bring through the line, and in order to get them all signed, you might have to buy another ticket and bring someone to stand in line. I usually buy a second ticket and then use the second book for a giveaway. I try my hardest not to have unsigned books by the authors I see.
- I know I said this briefly above, but it’s important, call the bookstore that is holding the event prior to. They can answer your questions on things like; how many books they will sign/personalize, when you should arrive, what to expect once you get there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make the most of your experience.Did you find this guide helpful? What authors do you want to meet?