Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My First Book Signings- What I Learned

This past weekend I had two book signings in local book stores. I was nervous. I was excited. Here are a few things I learned:

1) Book signings and readings are more exhausting than you think they're going to be.
2) Reading a children's picture book to a group of adults is REALLY hard.
3) Don't be nervous. No matter who's in the audience, you know more about your book than they do.
4) Stand up straight. (I saw in photos I have very bad posture).
5) Have someone take pictures of you while you're reading, signing, or interacting with the group so you can see if you have bad posture.

6) Hold the book out to the side while reading rather than in front. First, it's difficult to read upside down and second, the audience doesn't want to look at the top of your head. (This was a great tip from a school librarian).
7) Bring a favorite pen.
8) Bring slips of paper for people to write the names of whom they want the book addressed to, so you don't spell any names wrong.
9) Appreciate the people who come to your first book signings. No one is going to love and support you more than they do.
10 Have your husband/wife/partner/significant other take you out for dinner afterwards to a restaurant with a good bar!


  1. Yay, Meg!

    Huge congrats on your debut!

    And I have to say, listening to you read Benno, while seeing the illustrations, was a beautiful thing. Having seen this book from infancy, it was an even greater reminder about picture books needing to be read aloud.

    Benno is a wonderful, beautiful book. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

  2. Meg, thanks so much for sharing these great tips! I'll be having my first book signing in July and I'll definitely keep your tips in mind!

    Your book looks terrific - what a clever, thoughtful way to address such a serious issue! I can't wait to read it!

  3. Woo-hoo! The first two are over and yes, you will get used to holding the book out to the side for reading and soon you won't need to look at it because you'll have it memorized.

    But don't do what I did - at one of my book signings, I misread a page because I was thinking of one of my many revisions, not the final version!

    Congrats again!

  4. Is IS fun and exhausting, isn't it? Congratulations.

  5. J.A. - Thanks to you and John for coming!
    Lori - Congratulations on your upcoming book! July will be here before you know it.
    Gale - My problem was I stopped in the middle of one sentence and thought, "That's a horrible sentence. Did I write that? "Luckily, I didn't say it.
    Marcia - Yeah, who knew it would be exhausting?!

  6. See revising is never done is it?


    WOOT!!! WOOT!!!
    Backflip. High Kick. Shaking pom -poms in the air...

    I really wish I could be in NJ for one your signings. I'll be up at the end of June, in case you're booking any. If not, I will still take you to lunch or dinner to celebrate!

    This is such a wonderful accomplishment. I think back to meeting in Penny Pollock's picture book workshop and just WOW. So glad I'm seeing this part of your journey!!

  7. Meg: Congrats! Nice pix too. You look like an old pro at this whole book-signing thing. Please let me know when and where your future signings are so the kids and I can come. (Or let me know where to go to get that info.)

  8. How fun! Congratulations on your first signing. And thanks for sharing your tips--you brought up things I never would have thought about, like posture.

  9. thanks for sharing this! how awesome for you!

  10. Robin - You were there in spirit.
    J.L. - I'll keep you posted. I'm expecting the fall to be busy. (fingers crossed).
    M.G. - Yeah, getting caught unaware in a photo shows you all kinds of things about yourself you almost wish you didn't know.
    TerryLynn - Despite being nervous and exhausted, it was awesome!

  11. Meg,

    A friend attended your signing and showed me her copy of Benno. It is just beautiful! She also told me about some of the fascinating stories you shared. I'd love to have you do a guest post on my blog. Please contact me if you are interested!


  12. Cory - It was nice to see M.A. again. I'll be in touch about the blog. I'd love the opportunity.

  13. Meg

    Congratulations !

    Wish I'd been there!

    The best tip is bringing those post-its for the names!

    At my first book signing the store owner mercifully supplied them.

    Good luck at your next signing.


  14. Great list, which I'll keep in mind for future signings.

    It feels great to get a "first" done. Now you know the next time will be easier.

  15. Eileen - I think the best tip was the one about posture!

    Medeia - Yes, having one under my belt made the second one easier. Still nervous, though.