5 Tips for Attending a Book Signing

This week, I was able to drive over to Frisco, Texas, to listen to Sarah Dessen talk about her latest book, which I reviewed HERE. I hadn’t ever been to a book signing before, so I really had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t sure how early to show up or if I could bring a book from home for her to sign. How long would it last? (This one was about an hour, from when she started talking to the point where my book had been signed.)

After attending the event, I’ve made a list of a few tips for anyone going to a book signing for the first time!

  1. Bring a book, buy a book — I wasn’t sure if I was going to be allowed to bring a book from home for Sarah Dessen to sign or if I needed to plan on making a purchase. My suggestion is that unless the place you’re going to has a strict policy, plan on bringing a book from home and purchasing a book once you get there. That way, you have two books for the author to sign, but more importantly, you’re immediately supporting their book tour. I know that in some cases (like mine), you already own all the books that the author has written, however you should consider that the reason they’re out on a book tour in the first place is to promote their work, so the best thing you can do is show them support in that way. Make their trip worth it.
  2. Show up early — There may be a small seating area available at a first come first serve basis. After that, it’s standing room only. The author may speak for up to half an hour, so you’ll want to be comfortable. Otherwise, you’ll be thinking about how you can’t see or hear or it’s getting. In order to get the most out of the experience, plan to arrive 30-45 minutes early in the hopes of getting to sit down in a chair.
  3. Write your name on a post-it note — This seems random to some of you, I’m sure. But there’s a reason it’s on my list! It can get tedious for the author to ask what your name is and how to spell it, so throw them a bone. If you’ll write out your name clearly and stick it on the page you want them to sign, it makes it a lot easier on them and ensures they spell your name correctly! Some places may have a system like this already in place.
  4. Talk to the other event attendees — Chances are high that if they’re at the same signing event as you, they’re also fans of the author. Ask them what books they’ve read, what their favorite is, etc. See what else you have in common – you might make some friends. Plus, it’s a shared experience, so it’s much more enjoyable if you have people around you that you can bond with.
  5. Come with questions for the author in mind — I think authors typically take time for questions but have a limited amount of time to do so. I’m sure they get a lot of the same questions, so try to come with one prepared that could be a little bit different. Once good one that I heard at this event was: What would the Spotify playlist for this book sound like?

Do you have any other tips for book signings? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn


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