I was at my mother’s over the recent holiday weekend and overheard her reading this article from the Sunday paper. I think she’s okay but I’m not about to attempt to rush out to the event. But here’s the part that really got me:
Deen will not be signing any of her other books.
She will not personalize her signing of the book, sign any memorabilia or pose for photos. (There will be a designated photo area to pause briefly to take a photo.)
Really? I sincerely hope some of this is driven more by how tight her schedule has been planned (and thusly, by implication, her PR people or the bookstore) than exclusively by her.
Let me address the first item: The article states she will only be signing the new book, and it must be purchased at hte store hosting the event. They want to sell & push the new book (which is why she is doing the tour). I get that. When I went to an event for William Gibson last year, there was a stipulation that you had to at least get the latest book (aka: the reason for the tour) signed, before he would sign from the backlist. That makes sense. But denying a signing of the other books?
And not personalizing? Then (from a fan perspective) what’s the point of having a signing; just send a rubber stamp and an ink pad and pay someone to whack a signature on the title page. Now, to be fair, some people may have different/interesting spellings, and there’s nothing more potentially embarrasing than screwing up a personalization. That’s why we have Post-its.
But here’s what I really found irritating. The article says, “Per usual with these big-name food celebrities, there is a list of rules” which makes everything that follows sound even worse.
As someone with a desire to someday do my own book tours, I am more interested in this as a lesson in “event management.” I hope that by the time I get to that point I will still be aware of those that make it possible to have an event (aka: the fans – the ones buying the books), and do as much as I can to give an enjoyable experience for them, even if it means a longer signing line or a few extra momentsto give each fan a little personal attention.