My first book signing: the experience

On Wednesday, April 27th, I experienced my first author book signing. It took place at Indigo Spirit TD Square, in downtown Calgary. Most of this store’s patrons are office workers on their lunch hour, so we scheduled the signing from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Since we hadn’t organized the event with enough lead time for Indigo to order extra books, they asked me to bring in my own copies to sell through the store. 

My husband, Will, dropped me, a box of Deadly Falls and my supplies off at TD Square and left to find a place to park. Inside, customers milled around the store. The manager had set up at a table facing the mall entrance door. I arranged books, posters I had made and postcards featuring Deadly Fall’s cover and information into an attractive and welcoming display. 

For the next hour, I stood beside the table trying to catch the attention of people who entered the store. Most avoided me. A few I pounced on lingered to talk. One or two said they were interested, but had to dash off to a meeting. Right. Will lurked in the background, trying not to look conspicuous.  He had sent e-mails to his former colleagues and was was looking forward to catching up with any who arrived. 

Toward noon, a colleague turned up. While the three of us chatted, a woman swooped by me, picked up a copy of Deadly Fall and excitedly said she wanted buy it. Wow. The next hour was hectic. More colleagues appeared, including one who’d come in to shop and hadn’t heard about the signing. A friend dropped by to wish me well and give me a power bar to propel me into the afternoon. The sister of my sister Lynn’s colleague breezed in. She said she was 80 pages to the end of Deadly Fall and wanted to tell me how much she was enjoying it. She bought a copy for her neighbours and convinced a hesitant woman standing by the table that Deadly Fall was a great read.  The woman said she was glad to support a local writer. A man who had escaped to a meeting returned to say he’d decided to buy the novel for his wife. 

Store traffic eased after 1:00 pm. By 1:30, I felt done. In the end, we sold 10 books – 4 of them to Will’s colleagues. I also handed out about 25 postcards. Perhaps a few of those people will follow through and later buy the book. Several asked if it was available online. Yes, it is.

As we packed up the table, I felt exhuasted and moderately satisfied and not feeling I’d entirely enjoyed the experience and already talking of doing it again.

My next author signing will be at Indigo Signal Hill on May 15th, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm, a longer stint with Sunday shoppers who may be more willing to browse and chat with an author at the signing table.