Monday, December 13, 2010

Thoughts on Book Signings

Last Saturday my sister Kathleen and I braved the rain to drop by a book signing at Main Street Books in St. Charles. We fought traffic from a parade that was getting ready to start, struggled to find parking, and had to use a broken umbrella in the pouring rain, but I'm so glad we went.

Four local Chicken Soup authors joined forces for a "Chicken Soup for the Soul, Canned Food for the Body." The authors included three writing and blogging buddies: Becky Povich, T'amara Goodsell, and Linda O'Connell, along with Theresa Sanders, a local writer I don't know well, but who has also been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

As part of the promotion, shoppers who brought in canned goods received twenty percent off their total purchases.

The event was lots of fun! I got to talk with several of my writer friends, including those signing books and others who stopped by to show their support. Bea Siros was there to take photos and report the event for a local news-magazine. Lou Turner from High Hill Press and Debbie Marshall from the Missouri Writers' Guild also were there chatting, buying books, and offering support.

I'm sure the event made money for the book store and the authors, and it no doubt did a lot to spread good will to the local food pantry receiving canned goods.

Vicki Erwin, the manager of Main Street Books, was her usually friendly self, saying hello and chatting while Kathleen and I each purchased a couple of books.

Kathleen and I picked up a couple Christmas presents, saved some money, got to visit with old friends and meet some new ones, and we had a good time.

All book signings should be this successful. Here's why I think Saturday's book signing worked so well:

* Location. Main Street Books is a wonderful site for a book signing, and the manager Vicki Erwin is helpful, supportive, and friendly.
* Timing. The signing was from 1-3 p.m., which coincided with the annual Old Time Christmas parade. In spite of the bad weather, the streets were crowded.

* Publicity. Several of the authors posted about the signing on their blogs and e-mailed their friends. The event was also announced in Main Street Book's newsletter.

* Theme. The Chicken Soup for the Soul tie in with a canned good collection was a hit. Who doesn't want to help out a food pantry--and get 20 percent off their entire purchase?

* Extras. The ladies gave away peppermint canes, candy kisses, book marks, pens, gift bags, and other items. Tammy even gave away some free books she received because of a publisher's mistake.

* The more the merrier. Having four writers there brought in more people to the store. I much prefer to go to one signing for four people than four signings one at a time for one person each. Four seemed to be the right number. Many more than that would've been a bit crowded.

Here's what didn't help:

* Weather: Not much you can do much about that.

* Parking: It took awhile, but we found a spot, and I can use the exercise.

As you can see, the positives outweighed the negatives, and those minor inconveniences of weather and parking make life interesting.

So, congratulations, ladies. Your event was a hit, you helped fill a need in our community, and it was great to see you all!


  1. Sounds like a good time for everyone for sure!

    I sat by Veda Jones at Writer's Guild last week. When I mentioned your blog, she said that she knew you, had stayed at your house, what a sweet person you are!!! Isn't it a small world after all?

    Veda has been away from Guild for some time and is trying to attend more. I am glad to see her come as her perky self is quite an addition to the group!

    SO, SO cold here today, but none of the white stuff you all got...have a good and warm Monday...

  2. Donna,
    Thank you! It certainly was a joint effort and it was a success because of you also. I wish I lived closer and had time for the critique group. Maybe one day I will retire.

  3. Donna---Thanks for sharing your account. It sounds like it was a blast. I was at Purina Farms with our dog rescue, so was unable to make it. I would have loved to meet Tammy and Linda in person (and of course talk to you, Lou and Becky).

  4. Hi Linda,
    You can tell you ladies get along so well, and I wished you lived closer to come to critique group, too.

    Hey Sioux,
    Sounds like you were doing good work at Purina Farms. I'll see you next month and turn over my VP Crown. Just kidding about the crown.

  5. Hi Bookie,
    Veda is a real sweetheart. It was a joy to have her as a house guest. Hope her husband is doing well.

    It's freezing here, too. Think Spring!


  6. You forgot #1: *Wonderful, supportive friends! Thanks for showing up and writing about it!!

  7. The Chicken Soup books are wonderful. Next week, I'll be promoting a friend's article that recently made a new Chicken Soup release. The signing you attended sounds like a great event for a great cause.

  8. Hi Patricia,
    I'll check out your post next week.


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