The second-most enjoyable part of my job is signing books. I spent yesterday doing that, in the grandiose surroundings of the Masonic Hall in Bath, under the watchful eye of, well, a big scary eye. We weren’t allowed to sit on the Masonic throne either, but we did stash a suitcase underneath it and then tried to convince passing kids that the Masons were scary lizard people from Venus (I know some Masons, that’s not too far from the truth….)
Writers love signing books. Most of the writers I know will sign anything you put in front of them. Selling books is difficult, but signing books is fun. Even tatty, dog-eared paperbacks that sat in your backpack from Dublin to Delhi. Especially those.
I remember David Gemmell, at a signing in Waterstones, exclaiming with delight over a huge pile of early editions of his books that had clearly seen better days that someone had brought along to sign. The fact that someone has read and enjoyed your books, more than once, is one of the best things an author can hear. Signing new books is great, but so is signing old books, so don’t be afraid to bring them to signings and conventions. Sometimes being an author is quite an isolated life, so it’s always great to hear how your books are faring in the Big Scary World.
it’s scary though, trying to think of something clever to write and letting people see your bad handwriting!
I console myself with the knowledge that my handwriting is less scrawly and illegible than William Gibson’s 😉