Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Book Signing Guilt

The other day, while spending a lovely week visiting my parents in Delaware and the beach in Rehoboth, I stumbled across a book sighing. I was in the mall with my mother, waiting to get a new tire at Sears and we stopped in a bookstore—as we can never pass one up.

It was a small store and seated right at the front was an author signing for her first novel. Immediately, I wanted to go over and pick her brain, give her praise and just bask in the glow of her new release euphoria. Someone was speaking with her as I entered so I walked the store, waited while my mother purchased a few novels and as we were headed out, Mom and I stopped to speak with the author.

She was perfectly nice and very enthusiastic about her new novel. I really enjoyed speaking with her. Oh! And she told me she designed her cover. I know it’s rare for authors to have this kind of control, but she said her publisher put her together with a graphic designer and the image on the cover is what came from her mind. How awesome is that? I didn’t ask if she was agented, or self-published, but I should have…sorry.

I didn’t buy a copy of the book. From reading the back, I didn’t think the novel was going to be for me, but also, I was in a bit of a cheap mood because I had to shell out $113 for a freakin’ tire so shelling out $20 wasn’t something I was excited about at the moment. I know that’s not the author’s fault, but I think if it hadn’t been for the stupid tire—taking away from my vacation money—I would’ve bought the book even if I never read it.

So now I feel guilty. I know this is ridiculous because I can’t be expected to buy a novel every time I stumble upon an author signing copies of their books. As a writer, aspiring to sit in a book store and sign/sell copies, I feel like I should’ve supported her.

What do you guys think? Have you been in this situation? Did you buy? If you didn’t did you feel guilty about it?


Theresa Milstein said...

I can relate! I go to writing conferences and I often buy a book or two. The authors are all together in a room, and while a few have nice long lines, many sit... alone. Poor them! But I can't buy everyone's books, can I?

If you could look up the author from that store and give a link to the book now, so we can check it out, that would assuage your guilt.

Nicole MacDonald said...

I think only buy of you're gonna read it - otherwise its mean to leave the book living unopened :) You can't like everyone's style and we all know that :)

Elle Strauss said...

That happened to me once too. I didn't buy the book because it didn't really appeal to me and the price seemed too high. Later I thought maybe I should have just to support. That would've been okay but I suppose, if we get to that point one day, we will have to accept that people will look and not buy. It's just how it works.

Karen Denise said...

Theresa, I've been racking my brain trying to remember the authors name or the name of the novel. It'll come to me when I'm not thinking of it anymore. If that fails I can call the book store.

Nicole, as much as say I could've bought the book and not read it, it's almost impossible for me to have a book and not read it. I may not finish it, if I don't care for it, but I always try. So if I had bought it, I'd have definitely attempted to read it. :-)

Yes, Elle, we can only hope to get to that point one day-lol!

Jai Joshi said...

Sure, it would have been great if you could have bought a book and supported her but... Don't feel bad that you didn't! You can't buy every book that comes out and everyone has days when they can't afford the money.

The good news is that you met this lady and learned about her book and now you'll be able to recommend it to whoever you know will like it. That's what booksignings are all about - informing people about the book. It's not about how many books were sold that day.

I've done signings all over the country and I never resented anyone if they didn't book a book. I was just happy that they showed interest and were nice enough to come over and talk to me.


Karen Denise said...

Thanks, Jai. I did enjoy meeting this woman and I may buy the book later. I want to have that same attitude when I get to the point of signing books. It's just as important to meet the people as it is to sell the books. Good point, Jai.