Blogglings, it is I, coming to you from the land of the weather that can’t freaking make up it’s mind on if it’s raining, snowing, or hailing really hard. And I’m also coming to you with part one of a series of posts that will be going on for the next couple of weeks; book blogger etiquette posts! I did a single post of simple rules sometime last year, and it turned out to be one of my biggest reads of 2016, and I’ve decided I want to expand on that to specific situations.
And, because I have decided that this year would be ALL ABOUT ORGANIZATION, I have made a handy dandy little card thing to show you the dates and topics of the future posts in this series.
Wednesday, Feb. 29th: How To Be Awesome At Book Signings
Friday, March 10th: How To Be Awesome At Commenting
The most basic of basic book signing etiquette is simple; go to a book signing, and don’t be an ass! Easy as that. But, if all I said was that, this post would be way to short. So, onwards!
- Don’t bring your entire collection of an author’s books. I mean, if it’s an author like, say, Victoria Aveyard, who only has four or five books out, great! Bring them on! But It’s massively frustrating to the people who wait in line if a person brings the entire stack of books and expects the author to sign every single one. Some bookstores do have rules about this; I went to a signing recently where the rule was the author would personalize two books, and only sign six total, but for the ones that don’t, use common sense. Would it be frustrating to you if you were standing were the one waiting behind someone with the same stack of books? If the answer is yes, choose your favorites, and leave the rest behind.
- If the author is doing a speech, don’t eat while they’re talking. Especially if the crowd is small. It’s super distracting to everyone else sitting there, and probably to the author, too. Coffee, fine. Something scentless-thing granola bar-fine. Even if the signing is in a restaurant or bookstore with a bakery. Either get there early to eat, or wait until after your books have been signed.
- It’s like the movies. Don’t use your phone while an author is talking, unless you’re taking pictures of the event. Turn your sound off.
- DON’T. BADMOUTH. OTHER. BOOKS. OR. AUTHORS. AT. THE. EVENT. Yes, this happened at a recent event. Don’t do this for three reasons; 1) There could be people listening to you that like those books or authors, 2) This community is small. It’s very likely that the other knows (or has met) the author you’re currently ripping apart. 3) It’s straight-up uncomfortable to listen to. It throws a negative vibe over the experience, and it’s kind of like listening someone bash another person who’s not currently there.
- If you’re going to a group signing, I always like to say make sure you have at least one book for every author to sign. I was at a signing where I forgot that an author was joining the four already touring for a couple of tour stops, including the one in Seattle. The way most group signings work, is that the authors sit at a long table and you shuffle down it and hand the authors the book you want them to sign as you reach them. Que me, with my armful of books, standing totally awkwardly in front of this author, and we both know I have books for every other author except them. THE AWKWARDNESS WAS EXTREME. So, in other words…don’t be like me. At the very least, if you can’t afford to buy books at the store (most people-myself included-don’t have the spare $80 to buy books at a signing), try to borrow them from the library beforehand so you can at least tell the author you enjoyed reading it.
- My rule of thumb is if you bring an ARC to be signed, make sure you have AT LEAST two non-ARC books for the author to sign. It just seems uncomfortable to me to bring this book you clearly got for free to an event that has the goal of making money, and therefor supporting this author.
- I always like to contact the author and tell them how much fun I had- typically through Twitter. Even a pretty generic Tweet-I had a lot of fun at @so-and-so’s book signing last night! type of thing, with maybe a photo of the signature-can mean a lot.
- It you Tweet about the event or post pictures, typically bookstores have specific hashtags to use. Normally stuff like, say, #veschwabthirdplacebooks, or #veschwablakeforestpark, or #veschwabseattle17 (I can’t remember the exact hashtag for the event, but I feel like it was one of these). It’s always nice to use these, especially if it’s specificly asked of you.
And so, this is it! Post one of five. Do any of you have anything to add to the list? Do you disagree with anything on it already? If so, why?