Friday, May 27, 2011

Thank You So Very Much For Coming

I am pleased to report that the book signing at the BEA was a success. There was a long line of people waiting and the Orbit staff moved them through with the skill of veterans. They asked each person to write their names on a lime green sticky note so that I could personalize the signature with ease. I was scheduled to appear for an hour, but in forty-five minutes the entire stock of books were gone. It might have taken less time, but I enjoy talking to fans.

Only once before have I ever had a signing where I had a line. In the past, my signings were more like fishing trips, trying to catch and hook passersby. “Excuse me sir, but…Pardon me, but…”

These attempts to gain people’s attention on a few occasions led to: “Sure, why not, I’ll try it.” or “You poor man, is no one buying your books? Here, I’ll take one, you seem so nice.”

At the Orbit signing I heard a new phrase. It caught me totally off guard and blew me away as several people said it. “Thank you so much for coming.”

Upon hearing it I didn’t know what to reply. I was dumbfounded. In my head I was wondering if I had heard them right. Why would people be thanking me? I was overjoyed to see anyone actually showing up to get my books. I wanted to shake the hand of every person that passed by. I wanted to thank them for showing up, because I really did not think anyone would.

The night before I was speaking with members of Orbit and I sensed a level of expectation lowering being sent my way. My signing would be on the last day of the BEA, and it wasn’t even a full day. Most people were tired. Most people had already gone home. Most people had bags of stuff to carry and would not want another book, much less a thick, heavy one. And let’s face it, I’m not a name. I rank officially as a “kinda debut” author. I was being prepped for a weak showing. Even ten minutes before the event, I was reminded that traffic was way down that day.

I recalled one of my first signings at a Waldenbooks where I stood at the entrance struggling to gain anyone’s attention. I sold five books in four hours. I apologized to the manager, who in turn laughed and said that I had sold more than any author they ever had, and I was welcomed to come back. I expected much of the same at the BEA. I expected I would stand there smiling awkwardly as few people walked by, and fewer still returned my smile.

Instead a line formed. Books were stacked, and floodgates opened. Librarians, bloggers and booksellers stepped up to ask me for my signature and to thank me so much for coming. I still get a kick out of that. Some had read the books, but most were new folks about to meet Royce and Hadrian for the first time.

It was fun and I was treated like royalty. The Orbit team organized the line, refilled the stacks, held each new book open to the signing page, and neatly stole away leftover Post-Its. For a brief moment I was a rock star.

One of the highlights of the event was when a young woman stepped before me with a wide grin and told me that she read the books, and read both Robin’s and this blog. I was meeting a real fan, one of the many who made that day, and that line possible, but one of the few I had ever seen face to face. I checked her name tag. She had an unusual name, not one I would forget easily, and yet I have never seen a comment here, or her name in the Followers section. She explained that she had never posted and just liked to visit.

To her I would just like to say, thank you so much for coming, Anastasia, you made my day.


  1. wish I could've come, but sadly t'was on the other side of the world :/

  2. Quote - For a brief moment I was a rock star.

    Glad to hear that you were able to feel success and I hope that it's sweet addiction keeps you striving for moar.

  3. Michael, you deserve the success. I'm so happy for you.

  4. Breaking my lurker status to say that it was very nice meeting you, as well! And I'm so glad you had such a great time at BEA-- I know us readers had a lot of fun, too.

  5. Thanks everyone, and thanks for stopping by and de-cloaking Anastasia.

  6. Very cool indeed.

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