Janette Kenny Guest Blogs!

orc.jpgJanette Kenny’s been my guest the last couple of days and today she wrote a wonderful guest blog… 

Recently, I met a person who harbored the belief that the publisher sends every author on these exciting book tours, where at the bookstore we are greeted by a line of eager fans all clambering to get our autograph.  Oh, if that were only true! 

The reality is far different.  For one, booking an event, as they are called, isn’t a guaranteed thing.  Not all bookstores welcome having an author in house, unless he/she is a big name.   

For another, booksignings are often a hit or miss thing depending on: the weather, conflicting social/sport events, and the bookseller failing to order copies for the signing.  Yes, sometimes an author arrives only to find the bookstore forgot to order the books–it happened to me once.   

There are few bookstores that advertise a booksigning beforehand, and that’s usually “in-store” advertising in the way of posters or such or on an event schedule online.  So unless a reader happens to come in the store beforehand or check out the stores online in their area, they are unaware of the signing. 

There are a few independent (indie bookstores) that still handsell authors, and they know their readers so well that when an event is scheduled, they’ll call their reader list to let them know.  Again, there are few of them that do that, and sadly independent bookstores have closed at an alarming rate. 

So it’s not unusual for an author to travel some distance to a signing, and end up sitting for hours and only sell half a dozen copies.  Sometimes less.    

What’s a reader to do if they want an autographed copy of a book?  Fortunately many bookstores will gladly let an author sign copies they have on hand.  That way readers can buy an autographed copy.  And there are always online contests, blogs and virtual signings were readers can get autographed copies.   

orm.jpgSo the next time you happen on an autographed copy of a book in a store, remember that the author went out of their way to provide it for their readers.  Believe it or not, readers are the most important people in an author’s life.             

Janette Kenny 
ONE REAL COWBOY Zebra – Available now!
ONE REAL MAN Zebra – April 08
http://www.jankenny.com – monthly contest

Thank you Janette for that great blog! 
As a reader, I definitely appreciate it when I get an autographed book and I LOVE meeting authors in person…even if I do get a bit nervous and get that “deer-in-the-headlights” look. 

Janette’s blog got me thinking…have any of you ever been to a booksigning or ever found an autographed book in a bookstore? 

Remember, every comment is an entry into the contest for this month…details here!


27 Responses to Janette Kenny Guest Blogs!

  1. Helen says:

    Living in Australia makes it even harder to get a book signed unless I win one which I have been lucky enough to do I treasure the books that I have won and are signed and really appreciate the fact that the authors sends them to Australia postage isn’t cheap, but in saying that we do have some wonderful Australian authors and I did drive 3 hours a couple of years ago to meet Stephanie Laurens she is so lovely and she signed all of the books that I took with me and I have had the great pleasure of meeting Anna Campbell at a talk she did at a library close to my home and she signed Claiming The Courtesan for me Anna has moved to Queensland now and I live in NSW but I am sure that I will get to see her again and get Untouched signed.
    I buy my books online from Rendezvous in Melbourne and Stephanie Laurens lives in Melbourne and the last book of hers that I bought from there was signed Stephanie had dropped in and signed the copies they had and the lovely Ladies there made sure I got one. I jump at any chance to meet an author although I am shy both Anna and Stephanie are such bubbly people it is easy to talk to them.
    Thanks Guys
    Have Fun

  2. Maureen says:

    I have never found an autographed book in our local bookstores but you never know it could happen someday.

  3. brownone says:

    I’ve never found an autographed copy but have won a few! They’re put away so no one can get thier hands on it. I’m trying to get hold of a Lisa Kleypas!

  4. ThatBrunette says:

    Yes to both questions. I’ve been to a few signings. My first was Ed McBain when I was in college. I was struck a little dumb when I tried to talk to him. He was wonderful! For a man who wrote grizzly police procedurals, he was so sweet and nice. Since then, I’ve gone to a few for Elizabeth Peters. Not many authors come through Maryland.

    I have seen signed books while shopping in book stores. Usually, they were specialty stores (Mysterious Books). I’ve never seen one in a large chain.

    Lilian Jackson Braun, the writer of the Cat Who mysteries hasn’t done a book signing in over 10 years due to fragile health. Signed copies of her book can be ordered through a small bookstore that is local to her.

    I love going to book signings. I would love to be able to go to a publisher’s site and sign up for information on specific authors, including signings.

  5. Jolene says:

    I live in rural Iowa so i havent ever had the pleasure of either booksignigns or finding autographed books, of course we only have one small bookstore in the mall closeby, so not likely to happen. I have been fortunate enough to win some great autographed books online in blogs and chats and i treasure each and every one..

  6. Beth R says:

    Yes I have I bought autographed book in a book store and loved it! I even wrote to the author to let her know

  7. Minna says:

    I have never been to a booksigning and I have once found an autographed book in a second-hand bookstore.

  8. So here’s a question, Janette. When you go to Wal-Mart or the local grocery store, do you sign your books while you’re there? Do you ask permission? Or do you just whip out your pen, sign it, sticker it and then go get milk, bread, whatever???
    Curious minds want to know.

  9. Larena Wirum says:

    I have gone to a couple of author signings when I found out about them and I have to say that I love meeting the authors and getting a chance to talk briefly. I know at least one of the bookstores I shop at will have an author sign books when they stop in which is great because it does give people the opportunity to get a signed book. I have talked to the employees at the store and they have said that sometimes the author doesn’t have time to do a full signing but will stop by and sign their books which I think is really great that authors take the time to do that. 🙂

  10. I’ll answer Kimberly first. Yes, I ask first, and I’ve never been turned down. At two Waldenbooks in the Kansas City area, one store then put my signed copies on an end cap, and the other placed them by the counter. At my local grocery stores, they were thrilled to have autographed copies. My local Walmart didn’t carry my debut, yet it was in Walmarts elsewhere and online. But whenever I”m in a bookstore, I leave bookmarks and sign any copies they have for readers.

    It’s so good to know that most readers do value a signed book. I certainly remember my own awe in getting a book autographed.

    Helen, for my debut novel, I send twenty autographed coverplates to Rosemary’s Books down under. If your bookstore wants anything similar, have them contact me.

  11. Teresa W. says:

    I have a great collection of autographed books that I truely treasure. My favorite is the book Devil May Cry signed by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I went to her booksigning last Sept. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was great fun!

  12. Cherie J says:

    Never been to a booksigning or been lucky enough to get an autographed book at the bookstore. I have won a few which I cherish.

  13. Jane says:

    I’ve never been to a booksigning and have yet to see an authographed book in a bookstore. I always read on an author’s websites that they will send bookmarks to booksellers, but I never see any bookmarks on the counter for us to take.

  14. I cherish my autographed novels too, Teresa and Cherie.

    Jane, I’ve heard this complaint before that readers can’t find our bookmarks in the stores, even after we’ve send them a stack. It’s another sad fact of this business, and the reason why I send bookmarks to my readers who request them. See, I collected bookmarks and have quite a stash. 🙂

  15. Edie says:

    Good advice, Jan! My favorite booksignings were by people I know. I wish I could have been to yours!

  16. JSL says:

    Hi Janette,
    I haven’t been to a book signing, but I have accidentally happened upon some author appearances. This past summer while at a Barnes in Georgetown (DC) I got to see Peter Yarrow singing Puff the Magic Dragon. (I had no idea – I wanted to get a frappuccino, then saw they weren’t being served to keep noise down.) I have seen some signed books at barnes and nobles in NE OH, and in Columbus, OH- very random books, some kids ones, and cookbooks. I’d love to go to an author signing – but like Jennifer, I’d be deer in headlights also. Or rather, I’d be too scared to say anything and hover in the background until the event was over. 😛

  17. Jennifer Y says:

    Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting!

    I have been to several booksignings throughout the years including the HUGE RWA literacy signing a couple of years ago and the GRW booksignings. I was in awe of meeting all the authors and still don’t know if I got anything out besides, “I am Jennifer and I love your books.” LOL

    I cherish my autographed books and love having them. I have managed to stumble across a couple at local bookstores, but they never seem to have signings at the local bookstore…I usually have to travel to another bookstore to meet authors. They don’t seem to be a frequent occurence in my immediate area.

  18. Sue A. says:

    I once won a free book and front of the line access at Anne Rice’s book signing. Nerve racking. Couldn’t think of anything smart to say to her and she ended up misspelling my name.

  19. Virginia H. says:

    I have never been to a book signing but would love to go to one. They all seem to be so far away from where I live. I have never seen an autographed book in a book store either. I have a few autographed books that I charish and no one gets their hands on them. I keep them stored away. I guess you could say I collect autographed books and take really good care of them. When I read them I try not to even bend the spine. I don’t have that many but I charish each and every one of them.

  20. Jeanette Jackson says:

    I live in a big city (Toronto Ontario) so I have a lot of chances to get books signed. I go to conventions and have numerous signed books from there. I have gotten 1 or two at bookstores also. I have won a lot of autographed books…one is a Stephen KIng.

  21. Wish you’d have been there too Edie!

    JSL, I’m jealous. I loved Puff the Magic Dragon. 🙂

    I know it’s hard not to be nervous, but my advice is just be yourself. Authors love to get to know their readers. Booksignings should be events, where the author can chat with readers. I know some big author events they do rush you, but most smaller ones are relaxed. So be that way too.

    Jennifer, thanks so much for having me at your blog the past few days. I’ve enjoyed myself and hope your readers enjoyed it as well.

  22. Amelia says:

    I have not been to a booksigning nor found an autographed book in a bookstore. But I did win a couple of autograph books. 🙂

  23. Danny says:

    My first booksigning was in Tampa, Florida and it was a multi-author signing. It was so much fun, because here in Germany you don’t have anything like that. A couple of years later I attend two RTs and I have to confess that was quite overwhelming experience, especially the first one. It was great to meet the authors and chat with them in person and not only online

  24. fedora says:

    Hi, Janette, I’ve not yet been to a booksigning, but finding a signed copy is definitely a treat! Most of those are keepers, partly because it feels like such a special connection to the author. Thanks for taking the time to do that!

  25. Cindi Hoppes says:

    Thank you for you informative guest blog. I appreciate authors and I love their books! Many thanks…..Cindi

  26. Nathalie says:

    I would so like to go a booksigning… but they are scarce in Canada

  27. Mary f says:

    I find them sometimes It’s depends on how quickly I get to a store after an authors has been there

    The best luck I’ve had finding them was going to a bookstore while at a con *RWA*

    Mary f

    It won’t matter how many signings I go to I’ll still have the deer in headlight feeling LOL

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