I’ve been a big fan of Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series since the first book – And Only to Deceive – was published in 2005. In fact, I was so enthusiastic about the series that I volunteered to write a DIK review of the first book in 2009. So I was delighted to attend an event promoting the latest entry in the series, Death in the Floating City. Even better, the event also featured Ms. Alexander’s fellow mystery author, and husband, Andrew Grant. I haven’t read any of Mr. Grant’s books, but several audience members had and seem to enjoy his series featuring David Trevellyan, the most recent of which is More Harm Than Good.
Both authors talked a bit about their latest books and then took questions from the audience. The crowd was very animated and had a lot of questions for each of them. Among the highlights are:
I’ve been doing this feature now for several months, and am looking for suggestions from you to help make the lists I prepare more comprehensive. Each month, I go through a series of steps to create as complete a list of book signings as possible. As a first step, I visit the Web sites of all of the authors listed in the latest Romances on Sale at AAR. This generally generates a number of listings for book signing events by romance authors.
Next, I check out both booktour.com and authorstrack.com, but they are proving to be less useful over time. I rarely end up with more than one or two listings from both of those sites combined.
I’m also building a list of independent bookstores that seem to regularly feature signings by romance authors. At this point I have about 40 different bookstores bookmarked, from as diverse locations as Seattle to Omaha to New Orleans to Naperville.
Have you been to any book signings recently? This past month I went to a book signing for two authors at a local mystery bookstore. This time there weren’t any cupcakes or beverages (sigh), but it was a really fun event. One of the authors was a first-time published mystery author from a nearby city, while the other had been previously published.
This signing was rather informal. On the upper floor of the bookstore they had a number of chairs placed in front of a small table. The two authors were sitting at the table, each with a pile of their books in front of them. I was the first to arrive, and the bookstore owner invited me to sit in one of the front chairs. The minute I sat down, both authors started talking to me, and we ended up chatting for about 15 minutes. After more people arrived, each author talked for around 15 minutes about their books and their writing process. Afterwards, they took questions from everyone in the audience. The discussion was fairly lively, and any time it seemed to slow down, the bookstore owner would step in with questions of her own. All in all, a very fun event, and I walked away with three books.
In January I did a post on my efforts to look for book signings by romance authors. After my original post, several readers and authors commented that they would like to see this as a regular feature at AAR. Time, and personal obligations prevented it from happening sooner, but we’d like to give a serious try to having this as a monthly feature at AAR. But I’m going to need your help! There are only so many signings that I can locate on the Web. But I know that with the diverse geographical representation of AAR readers, we can locate a lot more book signings.
So, to get things going, I’ve set up a special email address (aarbooksign AT gmail.com) for this feature. I hope that readers, authors, publishers, and booksellers will send information to me there about upcoming romance author book signings. If you learn of an upcoming book signing in your area, or are going to be doing a book signing somewhere, please send me the details (author, date, time, store name, store address), and I will add it to our next monthly post. We’re going to limit this feature to events that are free for readers, so will not be including dinners or events that require paid tickets to attend.
I 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.