surviving book signings

6:18 AM


I love book signings. My very first was on a whim: the 500th-something person to meet Veronica Rossi, the author of the Under the Never Sky trilogy, and more recently, Riders, back in 2014. My second was much more aggresive: I took an airplane ride just to meet Marie Lu in an entirely different city in November 2014, months after my first. Flash forward to 2017, and I’ve been to nine so far and met around twelve authors, and even had the opportunity to ask some of them a question in front of a crowd.

Unfortunately, I’ve been avoiding some signings that I only moderately wanted to attend. I’m determined to make my tenth signing event the most special, and because of this there is a loooot of waiting going on for the national bookstore companies to invite authors I’d love to meet.

But that won’t stop me from giving you four tips on surviving book signings!


i took this picture during the katie-melissa-robyn signing.

If you don’t constantly stalk authors’ social media accounts, websites, and especially bookstore accounts, you’re bound to having a book signing happen without you knowing! Turn on all the notifications, be paranoid, refresh all the pages and tabs. Then when a poster comes out or you see an author’s tweet thaty they’ll be going to your local bookstore = scream.


I was the 127th person to meet Kiera Cass! The signing was the biggest.

Book signings can get really confusing. Times, locations, and plans for the signing can change. However one thing I’ve noticed that is consistent with signings are the mechanics. It doesn’t hurt to ask anyone organizing the signing about the mechanics for the signing, or to look them up online. Mechanics can give you information on where the books must be purchased to be deemed acceptable for the author to sign, how many books you can have personalized and signed, and the registration regulations as well as where to line up to get registered.

my gear during the amy-andrea signing.

Some things I’ve found helpful (aside from the basic necessities) and will leave up to you to discover their purposes:

  • the books you’ll be getting signed. WOW. I did NOT see that coming.
  • a portable electric fan or a jacket, depending on where you’ll be waiting.
  • food and snacks.
  • a Post-It pad and a Sharpie / any marker.
  • a camera or a phone / gadget with a camera.
  • tissues. (and yes if anyone cares i was that girl who cried during the sjmaas signing last march 2015)


photo taken at 3:30 am during the sjmaas signing. 

Most book signings have a first-come, first-serve basis, which is obviously fair and ensures justice. Some signings have limited slots, meaning people can be cut from the line if it exceeds the slot numbers provided. My personal recommendation is to arrive early. 

3-to-5 am early. I am wholly serious.

During SJ Maas’ signing, only 300 slots were available and so I arrived at 3:30 in the morning and was already the hundredth-something in line. For Amy Zhang + Andrea Portes’ joint signing, which had no number of slots thank goodness, I arrived at 5:00 am and was the nineteenth person in line, which meant that I was part of the first batch to have my books signed.

So! Here are some of the best dedications I have gotten:



((Backstory: told SJ Maas that I skipped studying for my exams the following week to meet her -- and I got this amazing dedication!))




I hope you’ve found these tips helpful! Please update me on your reading and writing and *hints* book signing life!

- Andrea <3

You Might Also Like

19 comments

  1. After seeing a blogger's BookCon haul (SOOOOO MAAAAANY ARCSSSSSS), my friend and I went a little crazy looking up other book cons and such. I've only been to one book signing -- I was aiming for Leigh Bardugo but the line was too long and the parentals were impatient. :'( I did get to get a book signed by Ally Carter though! And there were other YA authors there... but I was clueless and had no idea who they were. XD

    ANYWAYS. These are definitely great tips, and I will TOTALLY be using them when I go to that book festival this year! Hopefully I'll go with a friend so that my parents won't have to force me to leave. XD

    may @ forever and everly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OH NICE! I was supposed to go to Leigh's signing but got sick that very day. Ally Carter's books are cool, I've read some of them!

      Good luck!! Yes I usually go with a friend now and we have a great time spending hours just waiting in line :)

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  2. I've never been to an actual book signing, but one time I met Gillian Bronte Adams and I asked her to sign my books that she wrote. It was pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa that's so amazing, Gray! I do hope you get to go to one in the future -- they're practically a bookworm's form of concerts :)

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  3. I've personally never been to a book signing, but now I really want to go xD I think they might have one at the writers' conference I'm going to, and thinking of talking to my favorite authors is pretty incredible O.O

    Great post! <3

    audrey caylin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have fun during the conference, Audrey! I've never been to one and I am dying to go.

      Yes, I do get really nervous talking to them! But I'm glad that the ones I have met have been super warm and funny.

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  4. I've never been to a book signing, but i am just DYINGGGGgggg to go to one. Although I'm awkward. and I'm just concocting all these awkward situations where I'll go up to the author and just gape at them and like... idk i just know i would embarrass myself and then want to die and never be able to look at the books the same because... i'm such a winning awkward queen.

    great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG I AM STILL KINDA AWKWARD WHEN I MEET AUTHORS?! Like I just freeze but once the author says hello I do my best to brush my awkwardness off. Luckily all of them have been really nice and made me feel like I was having a brief conversation with a friend.

      I hope you get to go to a signing, Jasmine! <3

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  5. You met Sarah J Maas!!!! I'm so jealous haha. I've sadly never been to a book signing (not many authors come to Sydney unfortunately) but if I ever do, your tips will be super helpful! :D

    Sincerely, Melissa <3
    melissagravitis.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES I DID! And right after, I burst into tears because I was so happy and overwhelmed, haha.

      Oh! But I do know there are quite a lot of Australian authors like Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman? Maybe you can check if they do tours around Sydney!!! Still, I hope you attend one, Melissa. The experience of going to a signing is unforgettable!

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  6. AHHHHH I'm so mad because I was in the Philippines around the same time that Robyn Schneider and the other two authors were visiting National Bookstore, but I was busy interning at a publishing company to go. *cries* It's a habit for my brother and I to buy a book every time we visit-- it's one of the only things we buy besides Belo soap. ^.^'

    OKAY WHOA BACK UP. You met Marie Lu?!?!? She's one of my favorite authors and the fact that you met her made me squeal so much!

    I've only been to two author signings officially-- Eowyn Ivey and Linda Sue Park, although I did receive a signed copy from Rick Riordan because reasons. *insert evil laugh* It's super awkward talking because they're super sweet but you're just like, "Okay BREATHE keep everything together!!!"

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AAAH I WENT TO THAT SIGNING! I was there for Melissa Kantor but ended up meeting Robyn and Katie Cotugno as well.

      YES I DID! I took an airplane to the city she was holding a signing and... met her! She was such a chill person.

      NICE! I like collecting signed copies of books when I can.

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  7. I've never been to a book signing. Ahh!! Now I want to find one!!!! (Maybe I should read more recent books...seems like most of the books I read are like...over 50 years old, lol.) (Don't think I'm getting a signing from Alexandre Dumas...)
    But I hope that someday I can make someone's life my writing them personalized messages when I sign my own books for them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, I'm pretty sure your local bookstore has announcements for signings! They're really fun to attend, especially when you find people who want to go with you.

      SAME! Whenever I'm at a signing I always think about MY own in the future <3

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  8. THOSE DEDICATIONS ARE SO COOL!! I've never been to a book signing before but wow it looks like so much fun! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IT TOTALLY IS, ABBIEE. I hope you get to attend one soon!

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  9. Hi! Taking a quick moment from my vacation to say: Tag! You're it. I've nominated you for the You're Not Good Enough book tag (which I think you'll absolutely have an all with). You can check out the post here. May the odds ever be in your favorite character's favor!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHOA THANK YOU, ABIGAIL! I have been tagged a few times and I'm drafting some, so this will be a great addition. *screams and runs to your blog* Thanks again!

      - andrea at a surge of thunder

      Delete
  10. Hey Andrea! not relevant to the post - sorry! - but I nominated you for the Leibster Blog Award here, too, if you wanted to look at that! ;)

    ReplyDelete

Hey, amazing human being. Thank you so much for commenting! Be sure to check back for my reply <3