I so enjoy our authors sharing their “life-as-an-author” stories and this is a good one. Maralys Wills (Damn the Rejections, Full Speed Ahead and A Clown in the Trunk) writes:
Recently at Ralph’s Market, the manager asked as I checked out, “Penned any new books lately?” (he’d been part of my book signing at the market last year). “Well, my book on writing has just come out,” I said. Just then, the woman behind me said, “You’re a WRITER? I belong to a writing group.” That was the beginning. While the manager stood by and grinned, the two of us exchanged phone numbers, she proclaiming that her group would LOVE to hear me come and speak, and I answering that I’d LOVE to come to her group. Quickly handing the woman a sheet of paper, the manager had the look of someone who’s just pulled off a major match-making coup.
And that, Dear Authors, is just how it works. The writing group appearance will undoubtedly result in another referral to speak elsewhere, Maralys will talk to the manager about another signing at the grocery store, and she’ll gather a few more fans and sell more books.
On a related note, I recently heard that authors should “autograph” books, not “sign” them. Why? Celebrities autograph (books, objects, even body parts!), their signatures are valued, and authors need to elevate their “celebrity” status. At Stephens Press, we’re making some moves that direction, advertising signings as “Author Appearances” where they will be “talking to fans and autographing books”. True, not true? What do you think?