I'm sure most of us writers have stories about signings. I've just posted a tale of a double-header on my CrimeSpace blog and would love to hear about other people's experiences.

For instance, has anyone else here dressed up as their own protagonist for a signing? Shirley Tallman has a wonderful Victorian costume in which she practically boils to death, not to mention being unable to breathe. It makes me glad I'm writing about the 1920s!

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I'm just winding up a two month book tour that has taken me to 20 states. I've had quality time with some dear friends I don't see often enough and tremendous support from newer mystery friends from Sisters in Crime, especially Guppies, DorothyL, and Crimespace. Along with mystery lovers, I've had some great experiences with my other target audience, people in recovery from alcoholism and codependency and others whose lives have been affected by addictions. It's as much a no-no to market directly to these folks as to commit excessive BSP among mystery lovers, but I've had some touching experiences, like the guy who saw me on a TV spot talking about Death Will Get You Sober, walked into the mystery bookstore, sat down in the circle of chairs the bookseller had set up for my talk, and said, "Hi, I'm Bob, I'm an alcoholic." And the librarian who told the group she'd gathered to hear me about her own experience with an alcoholic husband. As a first-time author, I'm talking to small groups, and I've gotten a lot of mileage out my shrink technique of putting the chairs in a circle. It helps people feel as if we're all in this together. :)
I wish you the very best of luck, Joylene. If you have nothing else to give away, a bowl of candy is a great attractant!
Joylene, my experience was that if three people appeared at the same time, I could give a talk or at least a little pitch. For a straight signing of the meet and greet variety, I NEVER sat in the chair. There's no rule that says you have to stay behind the table or even right in front of it. And I didn't worry about giveaways. I always had a book in each hand, so if someone showed interest, I could say, "Here, take a look," and hand it over. Then I'd wander discreetly away and hope the jacket copy or the first page would suck them in. Often, it did. I use the past tense because I'm HOME! After more than two months on the road, I was ready, though I had a wonderful time. :)

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