Things I Didn’t Know I Needed To Worry About

December 9th, 2004 · 2 Comments
by Jill Monroe

It’s clear I am totally unprepared for this booksigning.

After reading some of the comments from my previous blogs, having something to pass out to passersby came into play. Daniel Olivas suggested a bowl of candy and keeping copies of reviews handy. Susan Gable suggested passing out a bookmark. Booksquare reminded me to use the sparkly gel pen I’d used to sign her book.

Yes…hopelessly unprepared.

My mother thought only my appearance needed to be considered – I didn’t even realize I needed to worry about pens, candy, bookmarks and such! The things I can obsess about go much, MUCH deeper.

I grab my Wet Noodle Posse business cards (a group of fabulous writers –*. I also snag a few of the snazzy postcards I bought with the cover of my book. When I ordered these, I envisioned slipping them into my Christmas cards. I’ll remember candy, bookmarks and reviews for next time!

Then I had a new thought – just how do people sign their books? My only experience comes from some of my author friends signing them to me – with personal stuff. I finally decide on a generic and boring “Happy Reading”. Despite the fact my mom and grandma have beautiful, elegant handwriting – the gene did not make its way to me (as evidenced by my signature on the eHarlequin website). But, I do decide to sign my last name using a Russian M. (Nice to see the 4 years of college Russian are finally paying off!)

I also have a confession to make. Despite the Speak n Spell my mother gave me in the 5th grade, I am a horrible speller. A fact my husband only recently realized – he thought I was just a bad typist. “But you’re a writer.”

Thank the heavens for spellcheck! In fact, word processing has ruined me for actual pen and paper writing. Yes, I reconfirm Happy Reading is my best shot at keeping some pretense that I passed spelling and handwriting.

Pens. Somewhere between the post office when I signed Booksquare’s book and home – I lost the cool, glittery pen. I demonstrate my signature for my husband using a tri-color pen. Yellow, green and red merge nicely. “Why don’t you just use black?” my husband suggests. Have I mentioned my husband is an engineer?

I remember some old advice from a veteran author. Use blue – that way no one will think you use a stamp for your signature. Listen, if I’m ever caught stamping my signature – my friends have permission to smack me. Earlier this year, my husband commissioned a beautiful, hand-made, laser-etched pen with title and name. He gave it to me a few days after my title was changed to Never Naughty Enough. That pen was on the Printer’s tray – which we also couldn’t find (I found it today – it had slipped behind the handle). Then my husband found the pen Oklahoma Romance Writers gave me to use on my first booksigning. Perfect!

Somewhere in the middle of the booksigning, I come up with the idea to scrap “Happy Reading” and use “Be a little bit naughty this season” instead. I’m thinking excellent use of my title. I have the kind of pride that only someone who’s had no more than 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep gets.

* Once I figure out how to do the nifty links down below like Booksquare does – I’ll get rid of writing the whole url

File Under: Jill's First Blog

2 responses so far ↓

  • booksquare // Dec 9, 2004 at 9:50 am

    You signed the book at the post office? I thought you spent hours agonizing over each and every word…And you lost our special pen? Well, that explains why my plumber was using the same ink.

    Don’t worry — you’ll be fine at your next signing (technically your second). In the meantime, I’ll be contemplating sharing the secret of nifty links at the bottom. A girl needs some secrets!

  • daniel olivas // Dec 11, 2004 at 12:47 am

    didn’t mean to give you more things to obsess about! i think each author will develop those little things that work for him/her. but i do think one of the most important things is having something tangible like a review (with website clearly printed somewhere on it) so that even if someone does not buy a book right then and there, they can think about it later…and i can promise, based on comments from a bookseller, some of those uncomitted readers do come back and buy (i always ask if i can sign a few books before i leave so that such late-deciders will be able to buy a signed book even if i’m not there). in terms of what to write, i like to drop in a little spanish if the book buyer is latino/a…it’s appreciated. if not, i always say something that shows my appreciation. i use a fine tipped, black sharpie marker…recommended to me by the amazing aimee bender.