Since my first book signing in 2012 at the RWA Literacy Event in Anaheim, I’ve been involved in numerous others. Some have been a bust and some have been wonderful. But I’ve found that some authors don’t understand how rude they can be to other authors during one. You thought I was going to talk about readers to authors or the other way around. I have links for those at the bottom.
When you’re sharing a table with one or two other authors, it’s important to not take up more than your share of the table. So what if you have twenty different types of swag, shelves, mini posters, etc., and the other author has only five copies of one book and a small stack of bookmarks. She deserves that room. Don’t be rude and ask if you can take up a little extra room — “she don’t need it.” WRONG! Readers need to be able to see her and not think she’s your assistant.
When a reader is talking to the author next to you, do not interrupt and draw the reader’s attention to you. The author will not appreciate your pulling her reader away from buying or talking about her book or whatever they are talking about. All part of being accessible to a possible fan. If you feel a need to say something, be sure it’s along the lines of praise for that author’s book or suggesting another book from that author. NEVER start talking about yours. At a book signing not along ago, I had this happen to me several times by the author next to me. You can imagine I don’t think much of that author and will ask to be moved in the future.
So you’re lucky and got assigned next to your good author friend or your favorite author. Before the doors open and the readers spill in, talk to your heart’s delight after the author has set up her table. Let her have a chance to get organized. Then when the readers come in, a short chat without readers nearby is okay, but no long, drawn out conversations. Readers will not want to interrupt and they’ll walk on by.
Place as many or all your boxes and bags including purse under the table. The author might need to leave early or want to hug a special reader. Don’t make her trip over your crap.
That’s all I can think of at this moment. Comment and let me know if you can think of anything else.
General Etiquette for Authors
Etiquette for Readers
Nora Robert’s book signings: http://ttpbooks.com/category/RULES.html