I have been to four book signings in my entire life. And they were all for the same author, Laurie Notaro.
I had laughed out loud at all of her columns, but showed up at the first signing because she was discussing self publishing. Apparently, she had went that route after being rejected time and time again.
It was just after 9/11, and, like most people, she was finding it hard to be her funny self. Instead, she kept it low key and informative, telling the smallish audience about her experiences publishing a book of her columns (getting cover art together, etc.).
When it came time to buy the books to sign, Laurie found out that her box of books hadn't arrived. If you've read any of her books, you'll know that this is just the thing that would happen to her-- showing up to a book signing with no books. Well, by that time, I was sold-- I really wanted that book-- and I wanted a real honest to goodness author to SIGN IT. It wouldn't be as fun to go to iuniverse.com and just order it. They improvised, and some of us ordered our books to pick up at the bookstore when they finally arrived. Laurie signed little address labels or something that we could later affix into our copies.
So now my iuniverse copy of The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club has a strange little sticker on the inside cover: Tina--Thank you for coming and not leaving. I really really appreciate it! Rock on. Laurie Notaro. I just love that. I can still pick this book up and laugh my ass off! A while after she self published and sold a boat-load that way, Random House became interested and picked her up for a two-book deal.
I loved the little "Rock on" part of the signing. I missed the phrase when she signed my copy of Autobiography of a Fat Bride: Tina-- Thank you, Thank you! Laurie Notaro. I wondered if she thought I no longer had it in me to Rock On. But I was Rock-worthy the next two books, so all was good.
This was on my mind because I sold a few of my Chicken Soup for the Soul books today. I was asked to sign them. I am really at a loss for what to write when this happens, and I'm afraid that what I've signed in a few of the books is totally awful-- certainly not as cool as "Rock on". I would love to say "Rock on" but not only would that be totally unoriginal, it doesn't work for the essays I have out so far. Everything so far has been about school or college.
Maybe I'll just use this blog's title from now on:
Hi, Person Who Read My Essay. Hope you Finish with an A! --Tina Haapala