I’ve read a few comments from readers who are excited and also slightly nervous with what to expect at their first signing, so I thought I’d give an insight into what I’ve witnessed at signings in the hope you’ll worry less and if you haven’t yet got your tickets you’ll then buy them knowing you’ll love every second once you’re there.
My first signing was Edinburgh 2014, I didn’t even know the book world existed to the extent it does but I saw a post from Kirsty Moseley saying she was attending. I was desperate to own a signed book by her so I dragged my husband along with the promise of a great getaway in Edinburgh all he had to do was spend the day at the signing with me. Well I quickly broke that promise upon finding the signing group! I started talking to a few other readers beforehand and they put my mind at ease so I then bought pre and post signing meet and greet tickets, bye bye nice romantic weekend 🙂
On the signing day I nervously queued with my husband waiting for the doors to open, within minutes I was chatting away to fellow readers and my nerves disappeared. On entering the room I was pleasantly surprised that despite the number of attendees there was actually a lot of space and the queues weren’t too bad. I managed to get over 70 books signed I just marched around from start to finish, I was tired but I loved it! As well as visiting KA Tucker at her table I was lucky enough to meet her in a lift afterwards and I fangirled so hard that I quickly became known as her #ElevatorGirl (I may have used my influence to ensure she got her butt back on a plane back to England this year!) That’s the beauty of the signing not only do you see authors behind their tables you actually schmooze with them around the hotel, it’s quite surreal. I had the best weekend ever.
Even though the day flew by so quickly I managed to get a few photo’s.
Edinburgh by day.
Edinburgh by night.
This first signing that I was so nervous to attend CHANGED MY LIFE! How? It pulled me out of my comfort zone. I met amazing people both readers and authors some even infiltrated themselves into my life beyond just the book world. I had been speaking with my friend and now blog partner Donna about starting a blog for months but didn’t have the know how or the courage to do it, after Edinburgh with some support from the people I’d met namely Andie M. Long and Nikki Groom I messaged Donna excitedly and said ‘I’m in!’ and it was then Literary Lust was born.
Donna and me aka Literary Lust
As well as making friends with fellow readers I was lucky enough to spend time with the awesome Kirsty Moseley and Natasha Preston, we just hit it off, so much so that Kirsty promised to send me a very early copy of one wild night and Natasha promised me a beta copy of Save Me. That’s where my beta’ing journey began! Nothing beats the feeling of having your name in the acknowledgements or knowing an author added an extra chapter based on your feedback.
Acknowledgement in Nikki Groom’s Lovestrong
My fangirling even got me a shout out in Samantha Towle’s Revived
Dedication in Natasha Preston’s Silent night
Thanks to that first nerve-racking signing I now have my own blog, share a super blog all for the ❤ ❤ ❤ with 5 other amazing UK blogs and beta read for Andie M. Long, Kelsey Burns, Nikki Groom and Natasha Preston. I’ve been lucky enough to attend another 5 signings since, most of them sat by Tash’s side normally winding her up and swapping her sharpies around as her unglamorous #CryingAssistant so if you’re around in Leeds, Birmingham or Edinburgh that’s where you’ll find me.
Assisting Natasha in London
Quick coffee break before the Peterborough signing
Rocking the photo booth in York
Very hungover in Aberdeen
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Before the signing join a signing group, they are often a lot of fun, you’ll find lots of information from the event organisers and fellow readers. They’re also great places to meet new friends especially if you’re attending alone.
- Be patient and be polite, you may have to queue but it’s in those queues that you get to do what you love most, talk about books and who knows maybe even meet a new book bestie.
- Wear a name badge or t-shirt with your name or your blogger name on. There are so many people who will know your name and not your face, don’t rely on facebook profile pictures (or mine at least) we all use photo’s from when we were younger, slimmer and all glammed up!
Ensuring everybody knows who I am!
- Take a drink and a snack with you. Many signings will have places to grab refreshments but some don’t and at big signings you may find that you want to spend all your time in the signing room with authors.
- Don’t worry if you don’t have many books to be signed authors understand that you can’t buy every book. They sign bags, scrap books t-shirts, allsorts of random things, they’re just happy to meet you.
The awesome signing board Donna created from the York signing.
- Don’t walk by an author just because you don’t know them, you never know if that author has written an amazing book you’ve yet to read, trust me you’ll kick yourself afterwards.
- Line ups change right up until the day, life gets in the way sometimes and it can’t be helped. For this reason I’d advise buying your paperbacks as late as possible, you can always buy amazon vouchers throughout the year to spread the cost. Yes it’s sad if your favourite pulls out but who knows the person replacing them may just be your new favourite waiting to be discovered.
- Be prepared to come away with way more than you bargained for whether it be books or swag no matter how good your intentions were before you walk in the room the excitement will take over the pretties just stare at you and you know you need to add them to your bookshelf.
Pretties from Peterborough
- Put a post it note on everything you want signing whether your name is spelt unusually or very simply things get spelt wrong in translation and nobody wants their favourite book signed to the wrong person!
- Most importantly just be yourself! There are so many different personalities walking around, you don’t have to try and fit in. The whole place will be full of character. The book world is one of the most accepting places I know, embrace it!
Meeting at signings created friendships with many but none were as epic as meeting the awesome ladies that fast became my all for the ❤ ❤ ❤ team. Here are a few of us actually meeting in York after months of talking online. This year we will all be in the same room for the first time ever at Four Brits Book Fest in Birmingham. Expect craziness.
Whether you’re about to attend your first or your 30th signing I hope you enjoy! Hopefully I’ll meet you at a future signing one day 🙂
There are several UK signings this year for more info head on over to UK book signing FB group for the schedules. https://www.facebook.com/groups/689958931077904/?ref=br_tf
First signing of the year for me is Leeds head here for tickets https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leeds-author-event-2016-tickets-15537433883
Followed by FBBF in Birmingham head here for tickets https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/four-brits-book-fest-2016-tickets-17909592072