Thursday, December 4, 2014

Are Book Signings Old Hat?

By Sparkle Abbey

In a couple of weeks we will have our last book signing for 2014. We always enjoy participating in signings. It’s a great way to connect with our readers, network with other writers, and to support local booksellers.  

Over the past three years, we’ve participated in local events, regional mystery reader festivals, and larger book signing at national conferences. Sometimes the events are planned for us, and some we’ve planned ourselves. There are a couple of things that all the books signings have had in common: we never know what’s going to happen or how many people, if any, will show up. That seems to depend on the venue, the advance publicity, and often what else is going on in the community and in people’s lives.

Our very first signing was for the launch of Desperate Housedogs, which our local Des Moines library organized for us. We sold more than 100 books! It felt like every person we knew had taken time to celebrate our success. It was a night we’ll never forget. 

Since that first book launch, we’ve had numerous signings. Every one of them we’ve enjoyed immensely. Sometimes we sell out of books, and other times we’ll only sell a handful of books. Regardless of the number of books we sell, we always enjoy talking to the folks who have taken the time to come and see us. At one recent event, there were five people at the signing, including the bookseller. Oh, and we can’t forget the three cats—especially the one who decided to lay on top of our books. There was a lot of laughter that night.  

Recently we’ve talked to many of our fellow writers who’ve decided not to participate in local or regional signings due to low turnout. A book signing can be lonely for an author. Sometimes the only conversation we'll have with someone is to answer the popular question, “Do you know where the bathroom is?”

As we sent our “Save the Date” email, it got us thinking. Since readers can easily engage with their favorite authors via social media, and with more ebooks being sold now more than ever before, are book signings a thing of the past?

We hope not. We enjoy getting out and talking to fellow book lovers about great authors, and discovering what everyone is reading. We’ve found many of our favorite writers that way. It also kicks us out of our writing caves and makes us interact with the real world.

What about you? Do you attend book signings? If so, who did you go see?

Oh, and in case you were wondering about that last book signing, here's the info:

Book signing in Des Moines for our newest release! 
Friday, December 19th, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Beaverdale Books - 2629 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA

Maybe we'll see you there!


  1. If I could get time off work to be in Des Moines that day, I'd come in a heartbeat. There's something very exciting about meeting an author whose work you admire - interacting on Twitter or FB or through a blog just isn't the same.

    Good luck with your signing!

    1. Thanks, Julie! We agree there's something wonderful and special about that face-to-face interaction.

  2. I agree completely with Julie. I love doing these events and attending them too!

  3. I love going to book signings.

  4. I love going to them too. And this is an excellent post for someone like me who is just figuring all this stuff out!

    1. Sherry, we're so excited for you! When are you coming to Iowa? :-)

  5. I love book signings and try to attend all that I can. I enjoy interacting with my favorite authors on Facebook, but there is nothing like meeting an author face-to-face. I like being able to hear the author talk about the research he/she did for the book and the writing process.

  6. I love book signings, but usually do them somewhere other than a bookstore. (There are NONE anywhere near me.) I'll be doing one in someone's home this Saturday with 7 other authors. We're offering wine, coffee and snacks as well as our books. It's being called The Neighborhood Bookstore. And yes, I like talking to readers too.