First, I had a great book signing at Barnes and Noble on June 4th. I met many wonderful writers and readers. I think I talked more about books I had read than the books I wrote. This is the advantage of having a table next to the YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy section. All in all, very fun. (I even sold a few books, too!)
Next, what does it mean to sign a book?
Sometimes, I merely sign my name. These books go to a general pile of books (my parents’ house), to be sold to any interested reader.
Sometimes, I personalize the book with the reader’s name and add a general note. I say things like, “Enjoy!” or “Happy Birthday!” and almost always a “God bless!” Basically, lots of exclamation points and not ver specific. These books go to people I just met or don’t know very well (like coworkers’ daughters).
Sometimes, I write a message to the reader, who is a friend I know decently well. One of these went to my brother for his wedding last week. My friend bought a book last month, and I was able to write a nerdy note about our conversation (what makes a square a cube?). I started these with, “thanks for being a great friend!” and such lines, but those are born from panic and my inability to think well on the run. Now, I hope they’re getting more and more personal and unique. An author has to be good at writing 30-word notes, not just 300-page novels.
My mother deserves credit for making me think past just writing my signature. Last year, she bought my first book. I signed it. She found it on the counter and said something like, “This can’t be my book.”
Me: “Why not? You bought it.”
“It doesn’t say, ‘To the greatest Mom.’ ”
An epiphany hit me, then! I should write notes in my books! (And I did add a note in my mother’s book.) I had met Hilari Bell when I was young, and she wrote a note to me (“Fall into a good book,” in her Fall of a Kingdom novel). Plus, she didn’t even know me. If she could do that, I could try.
So, if you meet me and want to buy a book from me, I will personalize it. It’ll probably be with a pink marker, too, because pink is awesome.