Thursday, August 25, 2011
A Tip for book signings
It's great when a fan comes at you out of the blue, with one of your books held out enticingly, and asks with a beguiling grin if you would be kind enough to sign it.
It can be less than wonderful sitting at a table in a bookstore, waiting with increasing desperation for people to buy your book. It's a great deal better to watch a queue inch toward you, but even that can become tiresome. Faces blur, and individuals become ciphers. Your smile becomes stiff and automatic.
According to the Authors Guild Bulletin, which quotes The Guardian, it's possible, however, to turn a profit out of that queue -- a profit beyond book royalties.
As the very amusing story relates, bestselling author David Sedaris keeps a tip jar on the signing table. He explains it away by saying that it is for money "for me to spend on candy." And, it seems, people put money in the jar "because it's funny to give money to someone who doesn't need it."
His last book tour netted him $4,000 in tips.
That's a helluva lot of chocolate.