Romance Author Booksignings: January and Beyond

Wow! It seems like forever since I’ve been to a booksigning. Fortunately, I have a couple coming up in the next few months to make up for the dearth of events the past few months. Over the next few months look for me to report on events with Lauren Willig and Julie Hyzy who are both coming to my home town.

I have managed to find a number of events around the country that AAR readers may be interested in. But, as always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-February, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-February, please send them to us at aarbooksign  AT gmail.com and we’ll add them to our mid-February post.

Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have appeared in AAR forum discussions.

Upcoming Booksignings:

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Romance Author Booksignings: November and Beyond

With the holiday season in full-swing, things are looking a bit sparse for booksignings in the next month. Most of the usual sites I visit to sleuth out booksignings are featuring fewer author events than normal through the end of 2011. And many of the signings I’ve seen posted feature celebrities-turned-authors such as Food Network chefs (Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri), former athletes ( Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal),  and TV celebrities (Bethenny Frankel and Regis Philbin). Now I always see a lot of celebrity signings on the lists, but I guess during the holiday season they’re out in bigger numbers. Are these the types of books people give as gifts? Are people so busy during the holidays that they’ll only attend celebrity signings? Or are authors  busy doing holiday preparations as well, and don’t have time for signings. I’m not sure.

Fortunately, I did find a few upcoming events that AAR readers might find interesting. For me, I’m looking forward to events in the new year including visits to my town by Lauren Willig and Julie Hyzy.

As always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-December, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-December, please send them to us at aarbooksign  AT gmail.com and we’ll add them to our mid-December post.

Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have appeared in AAR forum discussions.

Upcoming Booksignings: November and Beyond

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Romance Author Booksignings: March and Beyond

Have you been to any booksignings recently? I went to a fun one last month for two new-to-me mystery authors, Sharon Fiffer and Vicki Delany. The event was held at my local mystery book store, and the place was absolutely packed. It’s a rather small store, and every spot of floor space was filled with a folding chair, and there was a person sitting in each chair. I arrived a bit late, but a nice man gave me his chair, and joined the rest of the people standing in the back of the room. It was obvious that while I hadn’t read these authors, a lot of other people had.

Each of the authors did a brief introduction, and then the bookstore owner did a fantastic job keeping the discussion going, by asking a lot of questions. One of my favorite questions she asked of each author was: “What books would your character read?” Since I hadn’t read the authors before, their answers weren’t particularly meaningful to me, but it’s a question I’ve now been thinking about with each book that I read.  (And why don’t more romance heroines read?)

I’m very excited to report that I’ll be attending a booksigning later this month by Jacqueline Winspear, the author of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series. If you missed Ellen’s recent review of the first book in the series, and like mysteries set in Post WWI England, you might want to check it out.

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Author Book Signings: October Edition

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.

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RWA: Sandy’s Thoughts

Blythe and Lynn have already done such a great job of summing up our RWA experience, that I’ll only add a few personal notes.

I always have a wonderful time at the conference, but I agree with Blythe’s assessment that everyone seemed less stressed and ready to enjoy themselves.  It was, in fact, all good.

I will add that Sherry Thomas’ Rita win was one that made me very, very happy.  I’ve been championing the author since her debut and I think it’s a safe bet that Sherry will very shortly be taking her place as one of romance’s greats.  I was also pleased, as were Blythe and Lynn, to see Julia Quinn inducted into the Hall of Fame for three Rita wins in the same category.

Everyone kept asking for gossip and most of it I had, I wasn’t free to share. (Conversation killer, right there.)  Still, it all goes back to Blythe’s observation: We were there to celebrate and share the happy and that’s mostly what we ended up doing.

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Authors Behaving Smartly

unicornIt’s hot here.  Like over 100 degrees hot.  What’s a woman to do except try to distract herself from her misery by focusing on something nice?

So, in the spirit of rainbows and unicorns, here’s my personal list of authors I think are doing a great job at navigating the turbulent Internet waters.  And by personal list, I mean:

  • They’re on my personal radar.  There are lots of authors out there that I don’t follow who I’m sure are doing just as great a job who I may not be aware of.  This isn’t a wide-ranging list, but is strictly my own.
  • They’re not butt kissers.
  • They don’t turn every discussion online into “in my book…”
  • They don’t get huffy about online reviews or reader criticism.
  • They shine because their real personalities come through and the reader wants to spend time in their company.
  • They’re present online in more ways than just a blog or author Web site.  That may be a fine level of involvement for many authors and readers, but I’m just not one to take the time to visit  an individual author’s Web sites to read a blog.  I may go to an author blog if a link on Twitter or a message board leads me to it, but I just don’t surf author blogs on a regular basis. So, Jennifer Crusie (love the site design by the way), the Word Wenches, and Two Nerdy History Girls aren’t on my list, even though I think they are all made of awesome sauce.  (I’ve been dying to use the latter in a sentence. Okay. Moving on now.)

Ready for my social media honor roll?

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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.

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