Sunday, February 11, 2018

Meeting Authors: Tips, Tricks, and Authors I've Met


Hello friends! I feel like should be saying hello again. Two discussion posts in a row? Am I crazy? Nope, I'm just in a bit of a reviewing rut. And instead of radio silence, I thought I'd chat a bit with you. Plus I love this week's topic from Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer, but instead of just talking about the authors I've been so fortunate to meet, I thought I'd put a bit of a spin on it and give you some of my tips. I am by no means an excerpt. In fact, most of these tips are from my own mishaps. 

So, here we go...

If you asked me a few years ago if I've met any authors, my answer would be a resounding no. For whatever reason, Southern California wasn't a hot spot for romance authors. That changed in 2012 when RWA was in Anaheim and I met my first crop of authors that included Lisa Jackson, Candis Terry, Cathering Bybee, Maya Banks, and Sylvia Day. Who was also at that event that I didn't meet? Oh just a few authors... Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips... Yep, I'm still kicking myself in the ass. I still cry when I look at the map of tables.

Another event I've been meeting a handful of authors is the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. While they still have a long way to go when it comes to their romance representation, I have fallen in love with the authors that run the Los Angeles RWA (or LARA) booth and I pretty much spend most of my days there. There I've met Tessa Dare, Helenkay Dimon, Julia Quinn, Sylvia Day, and a handful of others.

The last place I want to mention is the wonderfully amazing... The Ripped Bodice. I'm spoiled that the store is only 2 short train rides away and I've been to a handful of their signings for Jill Shalvis, Erin Nicholas, Samantha Chase, Ilona Andrews, and Christina Lauren.

I've been to a few events in between, but not many. Barnes & Noble really does not host romance signings (although Ezrah @ I Heart Romance & YA did trek to Palmdale B&N for Julia Quinn). The only other events I've been to were the Authors In The OC and Authors Under the Lights, which sadly is no longer around.

Now that I've chatted briefly about events I've been to and authors I've met, here are some tips I've learned along the way...

How to Find Signings

This is can be difficult. For a long time I had no idea where these signings were and I had no one to ask. These are how I find local events.

1. Follow publishers on social media. This is mostly for events they are hosting like Avon's Kiss Con (which is in Kansas City this March!).

2. Follow local authors. Chances are, they'll have book signings around you.

3. Check your local RWA (or other writing chapters like Mystery Writers of America) chapter for listings. They'll list their conferences, which may have signing events. Plus they'll list any booths they'll have at local book festivals and may list additional author events.

4. Check out Romance Redefined for events. Or google search author signings near your area.

5. Ask your fellow readers.
Join Facebook groups. Find local book clubs.

Tips for the Signings

1. Try to read at least one book from the author, but don't skip the signing if you haven't! Be upfront. Tell he/she that you've been wanting to read the book and you're there to support them.

2. Don't bring feel like you have to bring your entire library. As much as I love all of my signed books, I do regret the times when I took so many books to a signing that I nearly dislocated my shoulder. My new motto is to bring my favorite book to get signed and cherish it. This works best if it's not a multi-author signing.

3. For multi-author events, bring a rolling cart! Trust me, your body will thank you. Everyone else's toes may hate you, but your body will be very thankful. 

4. Do research. This is also for multi-author events. Research the authors before the event. That way you can read some of their books and have a plan of attack.

5. Can't buy books? No problem! Don't be afraid to have something else signed. One of my favorite items to get signed are book bags. If you can, buy one at the event and use that. If you can't, make your own with a plan tote bag from any craft store. I've also seen people get a canvas signed, as well as e-reader cases and scrapbook pages. This is also a great ice breaker to meet authors you haven't read before.

6. Be prepared to fan girl. Brace it because it's going to happen. But don't fan girl too much and knock over a stack of books. Yep, I did that. And don't forget to take pictures. Yep, I did that too.

7. HAVE FUN! This is the most important. Chat with the people next to you. Laugh and joke with the authors. And if there is a giant purple vibrator on the table... Touch it. He won't bite. And yep, I did that too.

Have you met any authors? Who was your favorite? Do you have any tips for us? Comment below and let's chat!

2 comments:

  1. These are great tips! I have met several authors. John Green and David Levithan were really friendly and chatty, and I also loved meeting Sarah Dessen. The only tip I have is to plan what you're going to say before your turn comes to talk to the author. I always want to say something meaningful, but in the moment, my mind often goes blank.

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    1. I'm the same. I'll think of something clever to say about their books and it all goes out the window when it's my turn. The only time I was able to get anything coherent out was when I met Lisa Scottoline. She was the first suspense author I read and I wanted to tell her the story of how a guy friend gave me her book for my 16th birthday. Success! :)

      Meeting John Green and David Levithan... Nice! John Green was at a festival of books a few years ago and his line was massive. I think this was around the time TFiOS movie came out so he was super popular.

      Thanks for visiting!

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