For details on book signing locations and how to
get free book plates, see bottom of this post.
In October of 2010, I parked my car at the Books a Million in Huntsville, Alabama, turned off the ignition and turned to my friend Jyl.
“Think anyone is here?” I asked.
“Oh, I’m sure people are here.” She replied.
“Well, what do you think we should do? Do we go in and find the manager? Reckon there is a table set up or something?”
Jyl shrugged. “I don’t have any idea.”
“Have you ever been to a book signing before?” I asked in a hopeful voice.
“Naw, I figured you had.” She replied.
We got out of the car and walked slowly to the door. I called my husband, who had arrived a few minutes ahead of me and asked him if anyone was there. He laughed at me and told me not to worry. As I reached for the door I said to Jyl “Well, I reckon we are fixin’ to find out how a book signing works.” I opened the door to see a line around the store with hundreds of people, who all smiled when they saw me. My first thought was “I wonder if there is another book signing here tonight, too.”
There wasn’t 🙂
On the chance that you’ve never been to a book signing either, I thought I’d share with you how my book signings work. I have no idea how other ones work so I’m just gonna give you my personal experience.
There is generally a table set up with books and sharpies (those are for me, but I always bring my own just in case!) and folks line up near the table. A lot of people get there early so I try to get there early, too!
Signings generally last about two hours, but I stay until the last person is gone, and I have often moved outside to the sidewalk to finish chatting and signing long after the store has closed – I have no problem with that!
I make sure I get to visit with each person, which is why I try to arrive early to allow for extra time. I’ll gladly sign anything you like, it doesn’t have to be just my current book. Folks have brought magazines I’ve been in, other books I’ve written, even dishpans and laptop computers for me to sign! I enjoy the creative things people come up with 🙂
What to wear:
Whatever falls out of the closet first. Please don’t ever get dressed up for me. I’m just there to see your smiling face and get my hug.
Do I need a babysitter?
Absolutely not! Children are ALWAYS welcome wherever I am and they bring sheer joy to any event. The lines may get long so be sure and bring something to entertain them if they get bored easily, or “borrow” a few books from the children’s section in the book store ;). Once they get up to my table, I always have a little treat to thank them for their patience. 🙂
Do I need to buy a book at the event?
You know, book stores appreciate it but it is absolutely not necessary. Outside books are welcome at almost all stores, especially the chain ones. If there is a store that I will be at which decides not to allow outside books, please know that this is not my policy and I will do my best to arrange another time while I am in that area to sign your book so just holler at me. I don’t currently have any of those stores on my schedule that I know of though, but I’ll tell you ahead of time if that changes. As far as I’m concerned, if you want my autograph and I’m able to give it, you’re gonna have it!
*Note Barnes and Noble always welcomes outside books.
Can I ask your family members to sign my book?
They’d be plum tickled! I am writing this on October 22, 2013 and tonight’s book signing will be the big debut where my parents, husband, aunt and uncle, and even kids will be there. They would all be thrilled to sign your books so please feel free to ask. The exception, of course, is the kids. They will sign as many as they can until they get wore out from it and have to go home to finish homework and get ready for bed. 🙂 As far as adults go, put ’em to work! They’re happy to do it! Most book signings will just be me so if you can make it to the October 22 signing at Barnes and Noble in Jones Valley – Huntsville Alabama (7:00 PM) that would be the one to go to 🙂
What can I do while I wait?
THIS IS THE BEST PART! I’m telling you, Southern Plate readers are some of the BEST people on the planet. At my Dallas book signing, I was running late (Dallas traffic is horrendous) and all the folks there started playing games and pretty much having a party! When I showed up, they were laughing and carrying on so much I felt like I was interrupting, lol. So be sure and get to know the person beside you and I’m sure you’ll find a fast friend! Just look at it as a big old family reunion and you get to meet your extended cousins!
What to bring tonight:
Your smiling face
Your book (if you’ve already bought one, if not they are available for sale)
Any other books or magazines (or dishpans, or rolling pins, or anything else) you would like me to sign
If you’d like: Canned Goods to donate to Manna House to help other Families Come Home To Supper, this is optional.
That’s it! I’m so looking forward to meeting you at tonight’s or any other book signings. I’ve been waiting so long!
Current Book Tour Dates And Locations for
COME HOME TO SUPPER
Times and exact locations will be added soon so check back!
September 15 – QVC appearance on In The Kitchen With David Thank you for tuning in! We sold over 10,000 books!
October 22 – Book Debut! Book signing in Huntsville, Alabama at Jones Valley Barnes and Noble* 7:00 PM
- *Portion of proceeds from this event will go to support Manna House and my entire family (husband, kids, and parents!) will be at this event and happy to sign your books as well (the kids will sign until they get tired and then they’re off to get homework done).
November 2 – Costco Huntsville, AL (North Memorial PKWY) 1:00-3:00 PM
November 5 – Birmingham, Alabama Books A Million Brookwood Village – 7:00 PM
November 10 – Huntsville, Alabama Sam’s Club Holmes Ave 2:00-4:00 PM
November 14 – Columbia, South Carolina Books A Million on Forum Drive 6:00 PM
November 15 – Lexington, Kentucky Kroger on Beaumont Center Circle 4:00PM-6:00PM
November 16 – Kentucky Book Festival Frankfort, Kentucky 10:30AM
November 19 – Nashville (Gallatin), Tennessee Kroger Marketplace on Nashville Pike in Gallatin 4:00-6:00 PM
November 21 – Dallas (Garland), Texas Barnes and Noble at Firewheel Towne Center 6:00 PM
November 22 – Houston, Texas Blue Willow Books 5:00 PM
December 3 – Atlanta, Georgia Eagle Eye Bookstore with Gwinnett County Public Library – held at Gwinnett County Public Library 361 Main Street 6:00 PM
December 4 – New Orleans, Louisiana Octavia Books 6:00PM
December 7 – Huntsville, Alabama Kroger, 7090 University Drive 12:00-2:00PM
Don’t see a city near you on the book tour? No worries! I’ll be visiting more cities in the spring when I’m able to get around better.
If you do see me coming near you and would like to come out, though, I’d love to see you!
As I’m not a big traveler (My heart is at home) I will likely not pass these ways again and I’d hate to miss a chance to hug your neck :).
In the meantime, if you’d like an autographed book plate custom designed to match the book, I’ll be happy to send you one! These have a peel away backing that allow you to stick it inside your book in order to make it an autographed copy.
All have been hand signed by me and will be sent out by my mother.
For Bookplates: Please send a stamped, self addressed envelope to:
ATTN: Book Plates
P.O. Box 1075
Rogersville, AL 35652
*Please include a note on how many book plates you need, up to four per envelope.
“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”
~Ronald Reagan, submitted by Stephanie.