We all know the type. The guy(or gal) who just has a problem following the traditional mold. You hand me a yearbook and I fill the entire page with a guy drinking beer. You tell me flu shots are important, and I tell you I haven’t had the flu since quitting the shots nine years ago. Stubborn, hard-headed or original. You be the judge.
Anyway, I’ve come to realize this translates to writing as well. There are a handful of local authors burning up the trail when it comes to book signings, conventions and author groups at the local library. Again, no can do. If I have to hang up a sign explaining who I am to folks, then I’m just an average guy. That’s why I don’t currently do book signings. Have I had offers? Of course. I’ve had the opportunity to set up in my local Barnes & Noble, turned down an invitation to a local writer’s group and blown off several local newspaper chances. The honest to God reason for all of the above is pretty simple. I don’t write books for recognition. If I ever make it to the platform Stephen King stands on, then yes, I may actually do a book signing or two. Until then, I just don’t see the point. If I’m in a bookstore, I want to read books. Not tell folks why they should be buying mine.
I don’t understand what authors gain from book signings, aside from sitting behind a table and appearing to be fancy? Networking? No, I can network with more potential readers in the span of 30 minutes on social media. Sales? Most authors sell a handful of copies at best. I can sell that while eating ice cream in my underwear. I just love to write. For the longest time I thought it was a hidden persona of mine, but now I know different. Now I understand that I’m a very quiet and secluded author who sometimes has to put on a public face to visit the grocery store. Do I want to be there? No. I’d rather be writing. My characters are my soul and my readers are very important to me. Even by reading this blog, you’re sharing a part of me that remains private to most.
Still, if you hand me a yearbook – expect a picture of a guy drinking beer.