Have you ever been to a book signing? I hadn’t been to a book signing in years, and I heard about Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess book signing at a Barnes & Noble in central LA this past week and thought it would be a fun little literary event. It was fun but definitely not little. The crowd and staff treated Cassandra Clare like a rock star. I would guesstimate that 1200 people waited in line to see Ms. Clare; it was some craziness.
Cassandra Clare is the author behind The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones series, soon to be a movie starring Lily Collins (I also found out that the always hilarious Robert Sheehan of Misfits plays sidekick Simon, making the movie that much more awesome). Lily Collins and director Howard Zwart were at Barnes and Noble for the question and answer session before the signing, and authors Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan joined Cassandra Clare for the signing. What stuck out most to me during the Q&A was Ms. Clare’s explanation of how, in City of Bones, she “was going for a confluence of the real and the magical,” the idea that coffee shops and warlocks could co-exist on the same street.
Everyone I met in the crowd and in line at the signing was super friendly and cheerful (we YA readers must be a good bunch!). One woman had driven down from Visalia (that’s 3 hours without traffic! On a Thursday!) to see Cassandra Clare. I also met the bloggers from Sparkles and Lightning and Tackling Tinseltown – check out their fun blogs.
What I Learned:
- Either plan to swing by the book shop early in the morning to get a wristband closer to the front of the line, or make friends with some employees. We didn’t get our books signed until 10:30pm at a 7pm signing. Yes, that’s a little intense for a school night.
- Buy/bring books by the mid-list authors that came with the front list author (in this case, the authors I’m referring to are Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan). I wish I’d chit chatted with them a bit more about their books and their experiences as YA authors as they were much more available than Ms. Clare, who was busy signing approximately 4 books for each person who came up. Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan were super friendly, making jokes and chatting up the crowd as we made our way to the front of the line.
- Ask more readers in line if they have blogs (I love finding local reading/writing-related blogs!).
Since I got two copies of Clockwork Princess signed, DRUMROLL… there will be a giveaway coming up this week! Keep an eye out on the blog this upcoming week for a giveaway of a signed copy of Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess.
Have you ever been to a book signing? What was it like? Do you have advice for signings?
- Photos of Lily Collins from the event over at TMI Source
- Video of part of the Q&A from @MortalMovie: Part 1 and Part 2
- Lily on Which Character She Would Play if She Wasn’t Clary
I had my own book signing once. It was very small. 🙂 My books sold out (that day), though.
That’s exciting that your books sold out! How did you set up the book signing?
I think my publishers agreed to set up one (and one only) with one bookseller. The booksellers forgot to order my books, though, so I had to order an emergency shipment. There were only 40 but . . . you know. Every little bit!
I have not had the opportunity yet. But there a couple of local authors who have signings scheduled next month. Looking forward to attending. Thanks for the tips.
Looking forward to hearing about the book signings on your blog!
First, thank you so much for checking out my blog and pimping it! I have yet to post my book signing experience. But I’d have to agree to come better prepared as it was my first as well. And I really wished they had supported the other writers a little better, if they had some posters or even lists of what they had written I would’ve tried to read them before hand especially since I love YA!
Little lists for each author of their books would have been super helpful. If they had had their books prominently displayed, I probably would have bought one on the spot to have a signed copy! It’s a great learning experience for when we’re published ourselves. 🙂
What do you write? Genre/subgenre?
I tend to write YA adventure with female protagonists (could be science fiction or supernatural or etc., but nothing super contemporary — I prefer books to be a little more escapist than that). What about you?
You know I grew up reading Anne Rice and Christopher Pike, so I had originally enjoyed writing in the suspense/mystery/horror genres. But after getting hooked on Cassandra Clare and reading authors that write about dystopian societies (Collins, Roth & Lu) I had an idea for a sci-fi/fantasy project I working on now. I’m the same I like YA w/female protagonist.
I’m going to use your tips because i’ve never been to one. Thanks!
Thanks for stopping by!
I love going to book signings at the indie bookstore close by. I haven’t attended one since last October, because I haven’t had a ton of time. But I went to two in one day: one for Maggie Stiefvater and one for Sharon Creech. Couldn’t say no to either. At this bookstore, since the authors are usually pretty popular, I try to get there an hour early to grab a seat. Sometimes, if the author is really popular, you have to call ahead to buy the book and reserve a good space in the signing line.
Sounds like a good idea to call ahead. I arrived at the Cassandra Clare signing 2 hours early but was still pretty far back in the line since she’s so popular (although it was super fun to be around so many people excited about books!).
That sounds like so much fun … but a lot of standing in line. I’ve never been to a book signing before.
There are interesting book signings all over — maybe there will be one near you sometime soon! 🙂
A while back, I went to a book signing with Cassie Clare here in Vancouver, Canada, and it was terrific! Chapters (kind of a Canadian B&N) was packed with mostly young women, age 15 or so, and a few guys, all intently asking questions. There was a lot of energy in the room! Before this event, I didn’t know anything about this YA writer, but since then, I’ve read all of her books (and bought most of them), so I think getting out there (for authors) is an excellent way to both connect with extant fans and gain new ones!
Getting out there to these sorts of events is such a fun reminder that we are not alone on our writing journeys. In addition to this, it was so much fun to be surrounded by all these people (mostly teenage girls, but a sprinkling of other types) who were so excited about reading!