Friday, April 20, 2012

Book signings or There will be bragging

Look what I did!

*Happy dance! Happy dance!*

A friend of mine noticed Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, was doing a book signing for her first book Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) in NYC and we're in NYC so we should do something about this. And so we had plans for April 17th.

A few days later I realized Christopher Moore is also on tour, promoting his new book Sacre Bleu: Comedy D'Art, so I decided to look up his tour schedule. And what do you know, but he's in NYC on April 18th. Excitement!

Naturally I went to both of them, much to my wallet's chagrin. Also the part of me that likes sleep's chagrin, because each night I didn't get home till late. Not that the book signings went that long, but I had to get back to LI after each and that was a struggle.

Both were amazing and different. Lawson's event was slightly smaller (certainly had a smaller space*) but packed. Moore's space was larger and there were definitely more people there, but it wasn't quite so cramped. B&N at 86th underestimated the crowd Lawson would draw while B&N Union Sq knew the crowd Moore would bring and had the room. Lawson talked a little bit about writing the book and read a (hilarious) chapter. Moore talked a little bit about writing/researching the book and about random shit like the idea of a Rastafarian Princess Disney movie. During Q&A, the people at Lawson's event asked simple, to-the-point questions. People at Moore's event rambled on to show how clever they were and how much of a fan they were and OMG get to your stupid question already. While getting the book signed Lawson seemed as nervous as I was while Moore clearly has experience with meeting lots of fans. Both different and both so much fun.

Now that I've gone from having never attended a book signing to going to 2 in 2 days, I've decided I'm both a newbie AND a veteran of this. Because that's how this works in my head. And obviously because I have the fresh experience on both sides, I'm going to start giving tips that I learned that are probably crap if you've been to more than 2 book signings, so please feel free to correct me in the comments.

1. Don't ask long rambling questions to try to prove to the author how smart you are or how much of a devoted fan you are because you're annoying everyone. No really, everyone. B&N even (nicely) told people not to do that before the program started. After someone asked Moore a question he would repeat it back so everyone could hear. The fact that he could condense these long questions into a couple quick sentences means those people should have done that to begin with.

2. Get there early! Or at least get as close as you can if you're planning on getting your book signed. For Lawson's event my friend picked out awesome seats and we were the 3rd and 4th people to get our books signed. At Moore's event I was about mid-way through the audience and waited an hour. I believe the signature was worth the time but Boyfriend, who was waiting for me with food, was less thrilled.

3. Going up and actually getting your book signed is awkward. Maybe if you're a SUPER VETERAN it gets easier. Or maybe if you're naturally suave and/or charismatic. While I sounded exceedingly witty in my head, I'm fairly certain what came out when I got my Moore book signed was along the lines of "You write good I like sign please!" I sort of accepted the awkwardness ahead of time so at least I wasn't disappointed with how things went walking away from the table.

OK so I only came up with 3 tips. But those are gems, I tell you.

Exciting news for Moore fans! He's currently working on a new book (yay!) and it's going to be another Shakespeare one, like Fool (YAY!!!) I actually mumbled something about how stupid excited I was to hear he was working on another Shakespeare book and then he talked about the opening to Henry V and how hard iambic pentameter was to write and I'm sure I smiled like an idiot, but it was still awesome.

And exciting news for Lawson fans AND people who've made it this far. I'm giving away a copy of Let's Pretend This Never Happened! See when I heard her book was coming out, I got all excited and pre-ordered a copy. And then she announced her book tour w/ NYC being the first stop. Which is nifty but that was also the day my book was shipping so I didn't have it for the book signing and it's not like she has other books out I wanted her to sign. So obviously I bought another copy, which means I have a copy coming to me and I don't actually need 2 of them. My impatience is your gain! So just leave a comment with why you want this book and your email address and I'll randomly select one of you to win it. And while I would super love to open this to international readers, I looked up the rates to do that and they are just awful. Like 3 times the value of the book awful.

*If you want to see pics of the space and try to find me in the crowd** Lawson posted some pics to her blog
**I can't find me in the crowd. I was sitting front row left and I think I'm blocked by some people. So I just asked you do something I knew you couldn't do, because I'm an ass.***
***Why yes, I do have a footnote off of a footnote. And then another footnote to explain that. There's magic happening here.