Monday, October 29, 2012

Book signings...the cure for delusions of grandeur.

First, I have to really thank Susie and the wonderful folks at Laurie's Paperback Exchange in Oregon City. They made me feel like a rock star. Everybody was so polite and kind and just really super to deal with during my book signing on October 27th. I hope that this will only be the first of many appearances.

So, now on to the reality. I have some great friends. One of my highlights was seeing somebody that I have not seen (with the exception of our 10 year reunion back in 1993) in decades. My friend Jamie brought her son and two daughters. It was super to think that she made time in her day to come support somebody she hasn't seen in so long. The biggest compliment I received that day was from a mother of two young boys who "never read until they got ahold of your book." I will hold those memories dear forever.

The staff at Laurie's were dying to see me!
Now for the reality. I got a lot of polite nods as folks came, but only a few people that were not friends of either me, Denise, or Jenifer actually came. I sold a dozen books. Secretly, I was hoping for ten or twenty "strangers" to come in. And I could have skipped all of this and just told you all about how great it was...but that's just not me. I am sure that some of you up-and-coming authors are thinking about or planning book signings. I truly wish you all the success in the world and hope that there are lines out the door. And someday, I will have that sort of turnout. Just not this time.

I learned from this experience. I met a few people. I had a few complete strangers come to the table. But I was reminded of the first live remote I did when I started out in sports talk radio. It was in a small tavern, and I felt more like I was in the way of the regulars who came in to drink. I had one actual listener come in to meet me. By the time I left that line of work, I had a die hard following, and even had somebody bid to spend a day golfing with me. What blew me away was the fact that, in the end, there were actually three people in a bidding war. (It was for an adopt-a-greyhound maybe they were just dog lovers.) I have no doubts that my audience will continue to grow. And someday, I will look back on that first signing and smile. But I would not be being honest if I didn't admit that it was VERY humbling. I guess the next thing to wait for is the actual release of Zomblog: Snoe.


  1. You did well regardless that you only got a few fresh bloods. Even though you did not get the "Rock Star" feel, you are still well loved by your fans. I think because you were in such a little place in the world for a few hours you only got the tiniest sampling. You have worldwide fans, it's just hard to gather us all in one place and time. I know I would have come but Wisconsin is a long way from Oregon. Once Snoe comes out you will be pleased that all of us who could not join you will be waiting to click the "buy now" button as soon as it is posted. :)

  2. Sorry to hear about the slow turnout. I think all of us writers have those humbling moments and sometimes the moments of celebration. I like to think it just keeps me regular, without the big head that those celebrity moments try to bring about. Gotta stay grounded and keep plugging away, at least that's what I keep telling myself. Hope your next signing brings in a few more, then a few more.

  3. I knew I should have bought that plane ticket.... :(

  4. I have learned to have NO expectations for book events as far as attendance and book sales. Worst turnout ever - one person who was not the librarian in charge of the event (she kept apologizing because they forgot to advertise it) and didn't sell any books. But... the one person had fun, asked lots of questions and I left feeling, if not great, at least okay. Book signing is something best done if you've mastered zen.

  5. Sorry to hear that your signing didn't live up to high expectations. But it sounds like it could have been a lot worse. Here I'm thinking of the scene in "Spinal Tap" when nobody shows for their signing, and the arranger (played by Paul Shaeffer), asks the band repeatedly to kick him in the ass. Good luck on your next one.

  6. I liked Dana's comment about zen. I think if you were to get all the Todd Brown fans in one room, it would be a full room. But we'd have to have some sort of way to teleport.

    That aside, at least you can use the experience (and emotions associated with it) for your fiction. This is a little sick, but I make notes about my feelings in new situations so I can recycle them in my writing.

  7. I had a book tour about four or five years ago only because that's what I thought authors were supposed to do. It went well, but been there/done that. These days I don't do physical book signings. I can gain far more ground with my blog tours. In the 21st century, the Internet is where I sell books.

    Jolie du Pre
    Precious Monsters

  8. You're stories are wicked fun and you have more fans (old and new) out here than you even know. If the book signing wasn't on the most opposite side of the country you'd have had a lot of your fans lining up giddy to meet the author of so many fun nightmares and characters that we love and some we love to hate. :D