Signing dos and don’ts

Have you ever had a book signed by your favourite author? If you haven’t, I suggest you do. It’s the most amazing feeling. Even after I’d signed lots of books for other people (which I ADORE doing, don’t get me wrong), I still didn’t get why they were asking, until Cathy Cassidy signed a book for me. It was a copy of Angel Cake and she drew me my very own cupcake in her very own shiny pen.


So from now on, I’m one of those stand-in-line, write-my-name-on-a-piece-of-paper people.

If you go to an event where an author is signing books, it seems pretty straightforward to get your book signed, and mostly it is, but Meg Cabot has kindly offered some tips on how to do it THE BEST.

Also, she has kindly offered some tips for authors on how to behave at mega-signing events, and these too look useful. If the day ever comes when you write the sort of books in the sort of quantities that get you to mega-signing events where you’re sitting behind the table, not standing in front of it with your piece of paper.

Talking of which, I have a tip of my own – which is that some writers (OK, possibly only one – ie me – but at least one) have brains that turn to mush with excitement whenever they sign their books, which means that even if they already know you, THEY CANNOT REMEMBER HOW TO SPELL YOUR NAME, OR EVEN, WITH CERTAINTY, WHAT YOU ARE CALLED. Even if they’ve known you for years. Even if they see you most days. Their mind has suddenly gone blank. You’ll notice the slight look of panic behind their eyes. Put them out of their misery by spelling it out for them. ‘J-A-N-E’. Or better still, write it down. It saves much embarrassment and scribbling out.

My favourite tip of Meg’s – for authors – is not to gossip anywhere where you might be overheard, which is basically anywhere. People listen. People blog. People know the people you are gossiping about and they report back. Be warned.

Perhaps her most useful tip for fans is not to expect an author to sign ALL of her books if you’ve brought along the full set. Quite understandable if she is Meg. If she is me, this consists so far of 2 copies. I’ll sign them both, I promise. And if you tell/remind me how to spell your name, I’ll sign them both with a smile.

'Now, how do I spell Bennett again?'


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