Monday, January 9, 2023

Booksignings! by Christine Bush

One of the joys of being a writer is the chance to meet readers.  In the past, an exciting way to do this was to take part in book signings.  The pandemic put a big hold on that.  But slowly, the opportunities are emerging again. I'm excited about this.

                                                Fellow writer Penny at a book signing.

The change in the publishing world have sometimes redefined our book signings.  Some folks really prefer electronic reading over print, and so forego the idea of a signed copy of their favorite authors’ books.  Marketing changes have greatly reduced the number of independent bookstores who used to gladly host signings. Libraries, fairs and community centers have joined the list.

Thinking about the future of book signings brings back memories of book signings past. Often for me, they were full of surprises.  Some were humbling.  And still good.  Here are some examples!

My first book signing for my very first book, took place MANY years ago. Titled “Nurse at Deer Hollow”, was a a hardcover edition from Avalon Books. I was invited to a signing that took place at a community fair in my hometown.  I was thrilled, excited.

It was explained there would be a table for “local authors”.  I would be sharing with another local author.  I had no clue who that would be, this being many years ago, before writing groups, and social media. I was absolutely a novice. 

So I showed up with my box of books, and my favorite pen.

At the other end of the table was a local author “team”.  A couple.  Oldish.  Sweet.  He wore a Gilligan style fishing hat.  She had a scarf tying back her hair in the spring wind.  Their names?  Jan and Stan Berenstain.  Remember the Berenstain bears? Yes, this couple wrote over 200 well -loved children’s books about the Berenstain Bear family.  They brought eight big boxes of books to sign.

The line was a little uneven. Grin.  I sold one book to a friend who had come to support me.  The line for the B’s stretched around the whole fair.  Within minutes, I redefined myself.  I ended up opening their boxes for them, opening each book to the signing page and stacking them in piles of 20 to speed up the line. We writers help each other. 

‘You are an angel,” they said.  “And don’t worry.  Everyone starts somewhere.  Thank you for your help.”

It was actually quite fun, if you didn’t consider my own lack of book sales.  I met a lot of nice people.  And then I sold one more book.  To Stan Berenstain.

“Sign it, please,” he said with a smile.  “I have a first run copy. I will cherish this.”  Nice man.

Fast forward to Chicago many years later, at a national RWA conference.  We would hold enormous book signings, proceeds dedicated to literacy in whatever city we were visiting.  Often there were 400+ authors signing. 

In a giant sale like that, it is rare to sell a LOT of books, as there is no way anyone could purchase from ALL the authors.  But the personal contact with readers (and fellow writers) is priceless.  We sit in alphabetical order.   I had a new award-winning book that year, so I was blessed with selling quite a few copies, plus getting stop-by visits from new and old friends.

There was a brand new writer next to me.  “Patricia Cabot”.  She was signing her first book, a historical romance titled “Roses Grow Wild.” The table was pretty quiet.

I remembered the first book signing experience of my own.

“Don’t worry,” I said to her.  “We all start somewhere.  Here, let me buy your book. I will cherish it.”

Which I did.  It was good.

Fast forward a few years later.  National conference.  Literacy book signing.  Alphabetical order. Bush, then Cabot. There she was!  Only there were a few differences.  She was writing under a new name now, “Meg Cabot.”  One of her next books was titled “The Princess Diaries”.  Yes.  Book. Movie deal. Grin.

And now Meg had a line around the entire ballroom.  And so my role changed again.  I helped open her many boxes, lined up her books, and helped her out as she signed. I met a lot of terrific people. I loved every minute of it.  And yes, she bought my book.

I’m looking forward to doing signings again.  If our paths cross, come visit my table, and everyone else's, whether you buy the book or not.  Meeting fellow readers and writers is the main point.  I can’t wait to see you out there!

What’s your take on book signings?  I’d love to know!

Best, Christine

Christine Bush is a USA Today Bestselling author of romance, romantic mystery, and suspense.  She can be found living in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania with her husband and 2 lazy cats, and spending time with her 14 grandchildren.   When she’s not writing, she’s teaching Psychology at a local college, and working with clients in her private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She loves to hear from readers and writers!

Check out book one of my new mystery series, "Strawberry Manor",

This one is called, "Swan Song"

Swan Song - Kindle edition by Bush, Christine. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @




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