Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Different Kind of Book Signing

I thought today I’d write about book signings. Primarily because of a book signing I went to Monday evening. This was not your ordinary book signing at a bookstore.

This was a come-and-go book signing at someone’s house. The host is a big name in literary circles. He and his wife have a beautiful home in an elite zip code of Austin. This is the second time he’s invited me to his home for such an event.

Now, before you think I’m getting all hoity-toity, he and I aren’t friends. I doubt he knows my name and although I recognize him, he looks right through me because he hasn’t a clue who I am. That’s not a put-down of him. It’s just the facts.

There were quite a few other big literary names there. Sarah Bird, Lawrence Wright, Sally Baker, Stephen Harrigan, Clay Smith, Mary Herman, Andrea Prestridge. (The last three are the main people of the Texas Book Festival.) And a lot of people totally unknown to me. And the author being feted?

I haven’t a clue if she was there. Two people out front sat at a table with stacks of her book ready for guests to buy. And I saw people walking around with the book in their hands. But if she was there, I haven’t a clue who she was. I didn’t see anyone who looked like the author’s photograph on the back of the book. I saw no one sitting and signing books. And certainly no one came up to me to introduce themselves as the author.

There was an open bar with waiters going around the house with drinks. There were trays of cheese, fruit, and other hors d’oeuvres in the kitchen. There were lots of people standing around or sitting and talking. Typical cocktail party. But if there was an author there, I missed her. Guess I’m just not in the know.

If she’d been mingling and I’d talked to her, I would have bought her book. If she’d been signing and I’d been able to say hi and gotten her autograph, I would have bought a book. But she wasn’t and I didn’t.

If I get invited again (and I may not after this post), I guess I’d better do more research on the author being promoted so perhaps I can recognize him or her, find him/her, and butt my way into a conversation so I can meet said author … and buy the book.

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