Sleuthing Out Book Signings

DIAN_08RWA-lit-picI missed it. About a month ago, I receive a Facebook notice that one of my favorite authors was doing a book signing about an hour away from my home. Problem was, she was doing it at that very moment, a moment when I was getting ready to walk into a meeting at work. There was no way I could skip out on that meeting, drive an hour, find a parking space, and get into the bookstore before the signing ending…although I did briefly consider doing just that. If only I had known several days in advance, I could have arranged to attend.

Ever since then, I’ve been trying to find the best ways to know – in advance – about book signings in my area. One of my friends suggested that I just check out my local newspaper. Well, the problem with that is that even though there are numerous bookstores within my local area, they rarely – if ever – have book signings by any romance or mystery authors, and when they do, they may or may not be covered by the local paper. Another friend suggested that I check out the Web sites of my local bookstores. However, for the right author, I’d be willing to drive up to about 1 ½ hours, which makes for literally hundreds of bookstores. I did actually start looking online, and found a few romance or mystery book signings in the coming months at a few bookstores I checked. But other bookstores didn’t list any upcoming events, and I know that I must have missed numerous bookstores.

A third friend suggested that I visit authors’ Web sites for scheduled events; again, problematic. I started looking at various authors’ sites, and did indeed find some upcoming book signings (none within even a three-hour drive of where I live). But many authors had nothing listed on their sites, even when they have a book scheduled to be released in the next month or so. I’m not sure if this means they’re not doing any book signings, or if they just don’t post such events. I started doing Google searches using such terms as “romance author book signing” and located a site – www.booktour.com – that allows you to do searches for author events by genre and zip code. It’s a bit buggy, and gave me clearly non-romance authors when I searched under romances. However, by poking around a bit more I did find a brief listing of romance authors doing book signings. But by no means is this a comprehensive listing of upcoming romance author book signings.

I also checked out a few publisher Web sites, and found a bit of information. Avon features authors on tour by location, but it’s all authors, not just romance authors. To find potential book signings in your local area, you need to scroll through weeks, and then click on states. Similarly, the Hachette Book Group has a section of their site where you can search for events (including book signings) involving all of their authors. In the eHarlequin.com forums, there’s a thread where authors can post information on upcoming book signings. However, the most recent posting was on November 24th for a book signing on December 7th.

All of this took a lot of time, and provided me with a number of events around the country, including:

Joss Ware (she has a number listed on her Web site including): January 15, 2010 Brighton, MI Borders Books & Music 7 p.m.

Tracy Anne Warren: Saturday, January 16, 2010 Sam’s Club Grand Opening Event 12:00 – 2:00 pm 901 Airport Centre Drive Allentown, PA 18109

Laura Griffin: Saturday, January 23 Katy Budget Books 1:30 PM 2450 Fry Road, Houston, TX, 77084

Susan Kearney: Tuesday, January 26 Katy’s Budget Books 7:00 PM 2450 Fry Road, Houston, TX 77084

Lauren Willig (has a number of upcoming events on her site) including: New York Reading & Signing January 26th, 7:00 Borders, 57th & Park Scottsdale, Arizona February 9th, 7:00 Reading & Signing The Poisoned Pen 4014 North Goldwater Boulevard

So how far would you travel to get to a book signing? Have you gone to many? What are your best sources for finding out about book signings? And do you wish there was one, central location where we could find out about upcoming romance author book signings?

- LinnieGayl Kimmel

36 thoughts on “Sleuthing Out Book Signings

  1. Janice Lynn, author of several Harlequin and Harlequin Medical novels, will be at Coffee County Public Library in Manchester, TN on January 16, 2010, signing her books.

  2. What a great photo of author Diane Gaston.

    It would be great if there was a central spot for posting romance book signings.

  3. Thanks, Pat! Could I ask how you found out about that?

    Lavinia, I agree! This is something I’m really interested in.

    A question to everyone else: If we were to try and start something like this — maybe once a month — would you be willing to send notices when you spot them?

  4. I have driven 4 hours one way and made the round trip journey in one day to attend a book signing at Nora Roberts book store in Maryland. It was an event with multiple romance authors and was well worth the trip.
    That day probably ranks very close to the most I have spent on romance books in a single day. It was a wonderful time and great to meet lots of like minded readers.
    My favorite author is very diligent about keeping her website up to date with upcoming events and I have been very fortunate to meet her several times as she came through my area.
    Yes, one central website where you could search for events by author, location and/or date would be greatly appreciated.
    Take Care,
    Judy

  5. I don’t drive so any author signing would have to be reachable by bus or walking. And a lot of times the signings are done during the week, when I work, so I very rarely go to them anymore. I did manage to see Meg Cabot many years ago, and I do recall many signings being held at the downtown Waldenbooks and Brentano Books, but both those stores are now closed.

    There are several authors who seem to be very good at having signings posted on their websites.

    And, yes, I’d be willing to send notices of book signings when I see them.

  6. Linnie, I am on the library board and we have an annual book signing by local and regional writers. Janice lives here in Manchester.

  7. I’ve driven about 1 1/2 hours for Julia Quinn and Laura Lee Guhrke (together, giving a talk and signing) and also for Eloisa James (a meet and greet and signing). I’d probably have to drive at least an hour for anyone, since there aren’t any book stores near me.

  8. A lot of bookstores have newsletters that will let you know of upcoming events as well.

    Typically authors go on tour when a new books is out. So if you know your favorite author is coming out with a book, you can go to booktour.com (or get their weekly updates for all events in your area), or authorstrack.com, and search for that one particular author. That should give you all the events they are doing nationwide.

    Also, a lot of bookstores do have facebook and twitter so they will send out notices for upcoming events.

    I find it very frustrating to find authors as well. But the booktour.com, weekly updates do help.

  9. Hi LinnieGayl!

    Thanks for posting the info about my signing.

    A few thoughts….one, if you sign up on BookTour.com, you can get an email sent to you every week that lists all the author events in your area–so you don’t have to remember to go and search. I do that to make sure that my events are showing up and also because I like to go to booksignings too! :-)

    A second thought…mayyyyyybe AAR should/could be a central location to compile author events like this. Sort of like the reviews. I know, I might be suggesting something that’s really time-consuming (I’m sure it would be!), but really, since there isn’t a place that does compile romance authors events…maybe you could start one.

    A sister site,or a location on the site. *ducking* :-)

    Just a thought. It would be a go-to place for the romance community to check out events.

    Rushing off, now…..before you throw rotten tomatoes at me!

  10. Great picture of Diane Gaston! Hi, Diane!

    Brilliant idea to keep a running appearance schedule here ar AAR. In the meantime following authors on Twitter is another source.

  11. I’ve never been to a book signing…but planned on going to one this year. I have a favorite series that I’ve worked hard at acquiring all the 1st edition/1st printing hardcovers and would die just to have them signed by the author…..Only I got the H1N1 virus the same time she was scheduled for an appearance only 3 hours away from me…..I cried…..but I know that someday we will meet and I’ll get my books signed.

  12. Contemporary author Sherrill Bodine will be signing her new book Black Tie Affair at Bundles of Books and Gifts in Glen Ellyn, IL on January 9th.

    I usually look at Book Tour also to see if my favorite authors will be coming to my area. In April, I’ll be going to the huge booksigning at the Chicago Spring Fling. I’m so excited Cherry Adair and Julia Quinn will be there.

  13. Thanks for all your comments. You’ve given me lots of possible ways to look for more book signings.

    Danielle D, is Bundles of Books and Gifts a newer store in Glen Ellyn? I lived in Glen Ellyn for a couple years, and absolutely can’t remember that store…which of course doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there while I lived there :))

    • LinnieGayl: Thanks for all your comments. You’ve given me lots of possible ways to look for more book signings.Danielle D, is Bundles of Books and Gifts a newer store in Glen Ellyn? I lived in Glen Ellyn for a couple years, and absolutely can’t remember that store…which of course doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there while I lived there )

      The store has been there for 3 1/2 years, we’re on Crescent right across the street from the train station. We’re an used bookstore.

  14. Thanks, Danielle D. The next time I’m in that area, I’ll have to check it out. That’s a great location. Very convenient for all the commuters (I used to be one, and would have loved a bookstore across the street).

  15. I would LOVE for AAR to start a monthly “Book Signing Event” column or tab or topic on message board–whatever is easiest for the staff. They could post what they know and authors could send in events. I know I’ve narrowly missed signings by several favs (the nearest bookstores that do signings are several hours away so I have to have advance notice to arrange to be there.) I have the Booktour feature, but usually it’s not romance authors.

    Any chance of putting something like this together?

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