Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Robert W. Walker's BoucherCon2006 10 Most Imporant Rules for Signings:

Robert W. Walker's 10 Most Important Rules for Signings. Things You Mustn't Do at a Signing...from the only man ever thrown out of his own signing (a watershed event). This list was given as part of the Bouchercon 2006 panel on selling your book and it got a few laughs:

10. Do not sit period...but most certainly, do not sit behind an open newspaper, clip your nails, comb hair,
or yawn.
9. Do not spill latte on your own books (if you must...do so over another book).
8. Do not flirt with the cute clerk who looks 18 as she may be the manager; courtesy is best.
7. Do not throw your book at people, either those who are staring at you or those walking out.
6. Do not become angry or frustrated when a) the electricity goes out, b) no one knows you were
scheduled on said day, c) they do not have your books, although you called and checked the
day before and was assured. Instead smile, smile, and smile. Make nice...talk of a future
signing, tell funny and writerly stories, ingratiate yourself.
5. Do not hand out soap and towel with your books with the proviso the reader will need to take
a shower after reading it. You will only get more stares.
4. When a customer picks up the latest Stephen King novel, reaching over your shoulder to get at it,
Do not shout, "Put that book down!" Even if it is your intention to explain that your book is a
good one, too. (You can't do that last part when said customer runs screaming from the store).
3. Do not make eye contact with anyone coming through the door who looks like Joe Konrath on the last
day of a writer's conference.
2. Do not hand out candy (or anything else) in the shape of capsules at your signing as it is easy to
confuse such with your Cialis.
1. Do not ring a cow bell overhead to gain attention, even if the signing is in Madison, Wisconsin,
and do not shine a blinding blue or strobe light into the eyes of prospoective buyers. Blinding a
reader only makes all authors poorer for it.

If the author can avoid all of the above, he or she may be invited back some day, but it has been my experience that even the most successful signings have no follow-up unless you follow up.

May the road rise up to meet you, and may all your signings be a joy.

Rob

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