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Book signings - what is the done thing?

(15 Posts)
tiggerlovestobounce Sun 31-Aug-08 22:49:35

I'm due to go to a talk and book signing, to be held at my local university.
Im not sure what the done thing is - the talk is to promote a book that I dont have yet, but will certainly want to buy.
Do you buy the book there and then get it signed (and can I count on that given that it isnt held in a bookshop), or should I get the book in advance and bring it along with me?
Sorry for the stupid question blush

claudiaschiffer Sun 31-Aug-08 23:48:03

I have only been to one book signing before - Bill Bryson, Thunderbolt Kid (CRAP). The way they worked it was that there was a reading and questions first by Bill, then we all sauntered over to the bookshop where they flogged 1000s of his books and queued for ages and he then signed the book for us.

So bought the book there. People did try and get him to sign other books that they had either bought there or bought with them. I kind of think this was a bit frowned upon tho as the poor chap was probably getting repetitive strain injury from the number of Thunderbolt Kid (CRAP) books he was signing let alone any of his back catalogue.

Although i thought T-Kid was rubbish I do generally like his writing.

claudiaschiffer Sun 31-Aug-08 23:49:31

Wierdly while waiting in the queue - note that this took place in a small country town in South Australia - I met someone who lived *in the same street* as me in Brighton, UK. Small world etc etc smile

geminigirl Sun 31-Aug-08 23:50:23

If you are definately intending to buy the book, get it before you go. I'm sure there will be copies available but you wouldn't want to count on it.

MrsBates Mon 01-Sep-08 00:59:27

Used to organise signings in days as a publishing PR - usually you should be able to buy the book and then get it signed - after all the signing is to boost sales. But if the signing isn't in a shop get it first in case they don't have enough there.

Spike Milligan once had a long chat to my brother at a book signing, then offered to sign the book he assumed my brother had with him. He didn't have the book - was just chatting, so Spike said 'Well f**k off then'. Which my bro found hilarious.

ninedragons Mon 01-Sep-08 02:50:42

I took my own copy to a book-signing by Steven Pinker, but there were also copies there.

twentypence Mon 01-Sep-08 03:09:50

Thunderbolt kid is a lot better if you get it out of the library. I wouldn't have wanted to pay money for it!

claudiaschiffer Mon 01-Sep-08 08:04:36

Agreed twentypence. Mildly amusing at best - definitely not worth twenty odd quid for the hardback.

I do heart Bryson for his stance on the UK sinking under litter though, so can almost forgive him anything.

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 01-Sep-08 10:32:33

So no-one will mind if I get the book beforehand then?
The signing is at the university, but organised by Waterstones, so I was worried that they might be miffed if I got the book elsewhere beforehand.

peachsmuggler Mon 01-Sep-08 10:48:39

No it will be fine. Some people turn up to these things with the writer's full back catalogue to get signed!

filthymindedvixen Mon 01-Sep-08 10:50:45

lovely Bill Bryson signed my friend's book, her entire back catalogue and wrote a special note and signature for me as I couldn't be there.

I heart him.

justagirlfromedgware Sun 07-Sep-08 20:48:10

I always wait to buy at academic book signings as there's normally a hefty amount off (and it's nice for the poor author for whom this is probably their largest sale to see their book actually being bought)

theauthor Sun 07-Sep-08 21:33:30

I'm doing a signing (well more of a Q&A/ meet the authors event) for my book next week and I'll just be delighted if someone actually turns up!!! I won't care if they bring their own books, buy it in advance, don't buy it, and I'm sure they'll feel happy to just have some people there!

jette Mon 08-Sep-08 13:50:56

Tigger - is it David Sedaris?
I've never been to a book signing before because I think I'd find the whole thing a bit strange - what do you SAY to the author? 'Hi, I really like your work. Could you sign it to Jette, please?'

theauthor Mon 08-Sep-08 19:50:13

Anything flattering will do me! I really wouldn't worry about it - they will have heard it all before and far worse.

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