Yesterday, I had the honorable privilege of participating in a book signing with Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Eloisa James, Maya Banks, Erica Robuck and Lora Leigh at Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, MD.
My son and I arrived at 11:15a.m. and immediately received a pleasant greeting from Nora and her office manager, Janeen. I was asked to sign a couple of pre-order copies, literally two, while Nora signed hers, literally--well, a lot. Janeen told me that any books I didn't sell would need to be signed for Turn the Page so they could mail out any additional orders.
Nervously, I prepared my table. MacGregor tartan tablecloth, bookmarks, postcards, newsletter book, sharpies, t-shirts, kilt cookies, check. I was ready to rock and roll.
I nervously signed Temptation in a Kilt for my first reader, and my son and I quickly developed a system. I'd sign, my son inserted the bookmark and handed the reader a kilt cookie. We passed them out like hotcakes. And then it slowed down a bit.
When the line wasn't moving and a couple of readers passed us by, my son said, "I didn't give them a cookie."
I leaned over and whispered in his ear, "They didn't buy Mommy's book."
His eyes widened, he leaned back and said a little louder, "That sucks! You're book is really good. How come they're not buying it?" I was just about to answer him when he whipped his head around and said again, loudly, "Hey, look! I see they have it, and they have it, and they have it."
Out of the mouths of babes. We definitely had some interesting experiences.
A man came up to the table and asked my little man, "Do you recommend your Mom's book?"
My little lad hesitated (not understanding the word "recommend" at 7 years old) and shook his head--no. I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer... Fortunately, the man laughed and bought the book for his wife.
I met some downright charming people. Everyone was very nice, and even if they didn't buy the book, they offered congratulations on the accomplishment. I heard some great stories and met some great people. One moment in particular stands out.
There was a charming older woman who traveled from Cape Cod with her daughters to the event. To be honest, I've never laughed so hard in my life. The woman proceeded to tell me that she came to Nora's signing last year. Apparently, she made quite the impression with Nora the last time she was here. The woman walked up to Nora, looked her straight in the eye and said, "It's about time I get to finally meet my favorite author--Danielle Steel."
Nora, ever the professional, laughed it off and said, "No matter how famous you become people always mistake you for someone else."
Two hours into the signing, all of the books on my table sold. Janeen promptly brought me the remainder of the stock. My son and I stacked up the remainder of the books and the ritual continued.
My kin played a huge part in this event. My Dad told the ladies that he was the male cover model on my book and Sourcebooks photo shopped his head. My sister was outside and told readers that her author-sister was in there signing her first novel. My daughter wore her Bad Boys of the Highlands t-shirt and walked around the bookstore. And my son sat diligently by my side, sporting his kilt.
When we were down to the last hour, I ran out of books. Since I'm my mother's daughter, I always over-prepare. I pulled out my personal stash of Temptation in a Kilt that I brought from home. And there it was. They were ALL GONE! SOLD OUT! The bookstore's and my own!
Janeen walked by and discreetly gave me the thumbs up as the last reader walked through the line. There were no books left over for me to sign. I did it. My debut novel. My first book signing and it's with Nora Roberts. I SOLD OUT!!!!!
At the end of the day, I walked up to Nora and thanked her profusely for having me. When she found out I sold out of Temptation in a Kilt she said, "I'm really happy for you."
Then I said, "Oh, and I need to thank you for something else."
Nora's expression became puzzled. "And what's that?"
"Thanks to you, I'm right next to you on the shelf."
Nora laughed and said, "I'm glad I could help you out."
I will never forget this experience of a lifetime. "All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."--Walt Disney.