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Meg's Blog

Book Signing Do’s and Don’t’s

Don't forget:

I'm off to the Lee County Reading Festival this weekend, so if you live in the Ft. Myers, FL area, please stop by and see me:

Saturday, March 18, 2006
Lee County Reading Festival
Harborside Event Center and Centennial Park
Fort Meyers, FL
Teen Stage Interview 11AM
Signing 12:30PM-1:30PM
Author presentation (Teen Stage) 2pm-3pm

I hope someone will show up (besides me).

In case any of you do, I am reposting my list of Book Signing Do's and Don't's (with apologies to author Neil Gaiman, from whose site I adapted them for my own use):

Book Signing Do's and Don't's:

1) Plan on getting to the event before it is scheduled to begin. Particularly at an event like a book festival–where there will be many authors signing, but only a few tables for them to sign from–I will have to leave at the exact time my signing ends, even if there are still people left in line. So you want to be close to the front of the line by the time the signing starts, or I may not get to you. Sad, but true.

2) I LOVE that you own all my books. But sadly, I am not going to have time—or be allowed–to sign all of them—at least at a big event where there are lots of people in line behind you. So please pick out a couple of your favorite books, and bring those along ONLY, plus what you buy at the fair. I recommend three/four books from home TOPS.

3) If it's going to be an outdoor event, bring water, and drink it. Don't worry, there will be bathrooms. Make friends with the people in line with you, so they will hold your place while you're gone. Fainting from dehydration is never fun!!!

4) When you finally do get to the front of the line, don't stress about what you say to me. I never know what to say to authors I like when I go to their signings, either (chances are I won't even hear you anyway because of the damage I have done to my eardrums via my iPod).

5) I am totally psyched if you want to do a book report about me, but unless you've arranged it with myself or my publicist beforehand, I am not going to have time to let you interview me, because I have to get to the people behind you in line. So please don't bring your tape recorder/video camera unless you're prepared just to tape my saying, “Hi, so nice to meet you, thanks, bye,” because that's about all I'm going to have time to say.

6) I am happy to sign Princess Diaries DVDs, but take the cardboard cover OUT of the plastic lining BEFORE you get to my table. Sharpies don't work on plastic.

Additionally, if your books are in a bag, take them out before you reach my table. Even though you look like a totally tidy and trustworthy person, I don't like reaching into strange bags. I had little brothers growing up, you know.

7) I will personalize (meaning, I will write a specific message in) your books if you write down on a post-it note what you want me to say—if, for instance, the book is for a friend's birthday, or a favorite niece. You will be handed post-it notes for each of your books, and asked to write on it the name of the person you want in it, be it yours or someone else's. I SUCK at spelling names, so write clearly.

And no, I will not write, “To Emily, from your best friend Meg Cabot” or “To John, last night was wonderful, Meg Cabot.” I reserve the right to use my own discretion when personalizing.

Also, I have terrible handwriting, so you won't be able to read what I wrote anyway.

8) I will not sign skin or any other part of your body. I may sign clothing, but not if you're currently wearing it. Please don't remove it for me to sign, either. I have Cinemax, I don't need to see nudity in real life.

9) Yes, of course you can take my picture, and yes, of course you can be in the picture, too, but please show your friend/parents how to work the camera BEFORE you get to the front of the line. Friends/parents who don't know how to work their kids' digital camera or camera phone and stand there trying to figure it out for five minutes make the people behind them furious. So learn how your camera works before you get there.

10) Yes, I do have plans for Saturday night—I am going home! But thanks for thinking of me.

See you Saturday!

More later.

Much love,

Meg