I’ve been on the reader side of the table many times in my life.
A little nervous. A little excited. Trying to think of something to say to a favorite author that doesn’t sound absurd.
Glowing and happy as I approach the signing table of someone I know. Delighting in their accomplishment and proud to know them.
I never thought of what it’s like to be on the other side of the table, not even when I was getting ready for my book release party. I was far too busy fretting about whether the books and swag would arrive on time or if I forgot to invite anyone to think about actually being in that seat on the other side of the table.
The books arrived and the swag was perfect.
I even had someone there to handle the purchasing side of things. All I had to do was talk to people and sign books. Easy right?
Ever seen a deer in the headlights?
Yep. That’s how I felt, which wasn’t a real problem until it came time to write something in the books. I had no idea what to write. I hadn’t thought about that part of it. Not once. To be fair, I think it’s harder when you know a lot of the people buying the books because you want to say something personal to each of them, but having some vague notion of what to write would have made it so much easier.
So this is my advice to the new authors out there. Put time in on swag and ordering book copies and arranging all the details (better if you can delegate some of that), but also spend time coming up with a plan for how your want to sign those books so that you don’t have to try to engage your brain when you feel like a deer in the headlights (this is especially important for true introverts).
For all of you on the other side of the table, be gentle.
Now for a few of the fun things from the book release party.
An amazing bag gifted to me by the extremely talented Ann of Romany Rapture.
This fantastic pendant gifted to me by another incredibly talented woman, Lora of London Particulars.
And some great bouquets from more lovely people.
Happy book signing, regardless of what side of the table you're on!