Working Well With Indie Bookstores, Pt. 3

Maria V.

Today is the big day of your event. Yay! You followed my advice in Part 2 and are ready to go. The car is packed with swag, books (if needed), and the other items you’ve determined is required for the event (banners, displays, a bottle of water, etc.). If you’re picky about pens, don’t forget to bring your favorite signing pen or Sharpie along.
I’d suggest you arrive 30 minutes before the start of the event. That gives you some time to set up, use the restroom, and talk to the staff. There is no specific dress code. I’ve seen authors in jeans/shorts and T-shirts and some in full costume. Gail Carriger, who writes Steampunk Romances, wears Victorian clothing. I also met an author who wore a pink tutu over his running shorts.
In both cases, their clothing matched their books. The pink tutu author wrote a book about running and raising money for breast cancer and that was his way to get attention at races. Just be careful if you decide to wear a costume, there’s a fine line between tasteful and tacky. I tend to wear more professional clothes—a colorful tunic over leggings or a skirt. I also try to match the color of my clothes to my latest release.
And don’t forget comfortable shoes! Why comfortable shoes, you ask? Because my number one rule for signings/book events is "Don’t sit behind the table." (Unless you’re actually signing a book). Think about it from the customer’s point of view. They enter the store and there’s this table full of books and a person sitting behind it. It’s a bit intimidating and it’s also easy to slip past without engaging with the author—a missed opportunity!

Read the entire article in the March 2022 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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