Book singing are a unique kind of chaos. They bring out the good, the bad, and the awkward in everyone, but I love them. There is something electric in the air at a signing. Being around those who love words as much as you do? Being around people who love getting lost in these books day after day? You can't fight the pull in the air.
Even being an introvert, my first signing was terrifying. I went on my own and was SO shy! Well, util I met the first author and realized we were all feeling shy and awkward and then it was like a weight lifted. It became a mentality of Fuck It, I am going to fangirl and be awkward and its going to 100% be what it is going to be.
Signings are different for everyone. I am a TOTAL extrovert. I mean, it's pretty apparent if you have ever met me. I go into the events now with the expectation of total chaos, and I love it. I am the reader that prints the seating chart and color codes who I want to see. I have a plan in place as soon as the event is announced. I tab my books weeks in advance and have them organized in their own suitcase. I embrace my awkward 100% and fangirl like the best of them with EVERYONE.
So for me? Signings aren't an anxiety causing event anymore. I dove off the deep end into them and found that I loved the experience and the rush. But that isn't the case for everyone. Facing that many people in an enclosed space can be terrifying. WE FEEL YOU. At some point, all of us were that reader going to their first event.
So my advice? Join the event group. Ask questions!
Are you going to the event alone? Most events have a single-attendee side group that is always a blast to join! You can setup buddies for events, and get to know others that are experiencing the same fears and excitement that you are.
Some readers like to dive off the deep end and go big for their first event. Apollycon, Book Bonanza? RARE? But you can always try a smaller event, there are events that happen in almost every state, from single author events, to smaller venues with 10-20 authors. The great thing about the book world is that you truly can find just about anything type of event you can think of.
So I say dive in. You can't beat the energy and even if you only talk to ONE author, its sure to be a memory you wont ever forget.
Here are my MUST HAVE TIPS for events!
- Print the seating chart! Its always handy to have in the chaos and not all events print it.
- Book Carts! I love my cart, even if I only bring a few books, its nice to have your hands free.
- Snacks and water! I always try to make sure I have a little something for the event to keep my blood sugar up and my energy jumping!
- Books! I mean, or not books, but bring something to sign. I have done bags, books, prints, all sorts of things! Its so fun to have something to have the authors sign and to help you remember the event!
-Photos! Every readers ends up a photographer by the end of one vent, if you are taking photos fro the reader in front of you, or taking photos in the event, have fun with it! Don't even get me started on TikTok!
-Have fun. Visit random authors, tell them you are new to them and ask them for a book recommendation. They are feeling just as awkward as you are and you might find your next read!
-Hotel. If the event is multi-day and you can swing it, stay at the event hotel. It is always full of such energy!
-Tab your books. Post it notes with your name on them. on the title page of the book make it SO much easier for authors to sign your items and not misspell anything.
Thats all I have got for now. But got for it. Face the anxiety and just go have fun!