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How NOT To Be A Douche Reader-Attendee At A Book Signing

So you say you’re going to a book signing to fawn all over your favorite authors.

You’re among friends! There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of other readers attending the signing who believe authors are their rock stars, too.

Whether the next signing you’re attending is your 20th or your 1st, there are a few tips to make the trip easier on everyone, including those around you.

And remember: You are not alone.

It’s OK To Fangirl


No one ever gets tired of hearing how much they’re loved and admired. If you are excited to meet someone, TELL HER! If one of their books affected you deeply, TELL HER! If you have a weird question you’re dying to have her answer, ASK HER! If you have the urge to grab her ass, DON’T! (Save that for later if she’s willing.)

Kristen Wiig fangirl gif

Tell The Author Your Name

Even Better — Show Her Your Avatar

Even if you’ve been talking with your favorite author on Facebook for the last 3 years, she probably won’t recognize you in 3D. Some of my best friends have been met online, and if I were to walk into my grocery store and they were there, I wouldn’t know who they were. Don’t be shy to tell the author your name and flash a card with your avatar. You’d be surprised at the reaction you’ll get when they recognize you!

Rainn Wilson high five gif

Authors Are People, Too

They’re Just Like Us!

Remember seeing your elementary school teacher at the grocery store and thinking how weird it was that they had actual lives outside of school? The same goes with authors. They’re Just Like Us — fans of authors, nervous to be there, and excited to meet you.

Shocked to see Dr Who gif

Many Authors Will Sign Anything

Some Will Sign Your Boobs

Their own books, autograph books, scrapbooks, a t-shirt while you’re wearing it, a doll, a poster, your e-Reader, an iPad (someone had me sign their iPad which was interesting), and your cleavage. Authors are there to keep you a happy little reader, so depending on the author, and as long as what you have to sign isn’t illegal or against their own personal beliefs, they’ll sign it! Just ask first.

Mad Men Joan Boobs gif

Take Photos

Just Make Them Good

Most authors will have an assistant at their table with them to help manage the table, make runs for water, and to help take photos. Authors and their assistants (usually a best friend, mom, sister) know the author’s best angles for top-notch photographs. Ask the assistant to take a photo and she’ll know just how to get the best shot of you and the author. For those of you attending with a buddy, have your buddy be your photographer and her, yours.

Model wind blowing gif

Get Used To Waiting In Line

Make The Best Of It

The other ladies — and a few men — are just as excited as you are to be there. Popular authors have notoriously long lines, and every single person in front of you wants to meet the author just like you do. Everyone in line will get her one-on-one time with the author, so be patient and make some friends while you wait. You never know who is standing with you in line. She could be your next BFF because you already have one thing in common: you love the same author!

Move bitch lacrosse gif

Minimize Your Load

I’m Not Talking About Poop

There will be readers at the signing bringing truckloads of paperbacks to be autographed. No, I’m not exaggerating. Literally, hand trucks, rolling storage bins, and suitcases full of their Precious to be signed. Everyone else is cool with that, just as long as NOT ALL 50 of those paperbacks is to be signed by one author. No. HELL NO. Think of the people behind you in line who just want a quick picture and a scribble in their book. Pick your favorite ONE or TWO books/Kindle case/photo album/autograph book (like this one from Smut Book Club) to be signed by any one author. The rest of the attendees will thank you.

Lots of readers will make scrapbook photo albums from places like Shutterfly ahead of the signing, creating a page for each author to sign. They can be really beautiful, and you have just one book to carry with you all day!

Carrying too much infomercial gif

Wear Comfortable Clothes And Shoes

Free Those Piggies!

Save your favorite new dress and spiked heels for the after party (note: the after party is not fancy) and wear sneakers. I promise, you won’t be impressing your favorite author with your shoe wear while she’s signing 500 books in 4 hours. Know that signing rooms can get a bit swealtery when hundreds of estrogen-pumping bodies all vibrating with excitement, so wear lightweight clothes.

High heels falling gif

Be Careful What You Say And Where You Say It

You Are Not Alone

Don’t like a particular author? Wish a certain blogger would disappear? Had more fun at another signing?

Keep those things to yourself while you’re at the signing. There are ears everywhere. You never know who could be standing next to you in line or who is listening while you talk to your bestie in the bathroom stall. Plus, no one wants to be around a Drama Queen while we’re all there to have a good time.

Rihanna Katy Perry whisper gif

Tips From Authors

CD Reiss — Author of Songs of SubmissionSpinKick

We’re sorry about the lines. But use that time to meet one another, talk books, or pop by a less popular table. Talk to the author, even if you’re not going to buy anything, because if their table is slow, they just want company.

Harper Sloan — Author of Axel, Cage, Beck, Uncaged

Post-it notes on the first page of the book you want signed with your personalization shit is so helpful. Even if you have 4 books, put a Post-it on all of them.

If you want to chat, we love it, but also be mindful of if there is a line.

Have a bag! Just because you only want a few things, there is always going to be someone you see you didn’t know would be there or that you just see and want. Rolling crates are the best so you’re not killing yourself by the end of the day.

Have a battery pack for your cell phone. You’re going to be using your phone all day so those things are a lifesaver.

The majority of authors take credit cards, however some only take cash. Have cash. Small bills are the best just in case the author runs out.

If you’re a blogger, PLEASE HAVE BUSINESS CARDS. Also, mention you’re a blogger because a lot of authors will give bulk signed swag for them to use as giveaways.

Remember your water and a hair tie for when you get super dupa hot.

Laura Kaye — Author of  Hard Ink Series, Dare to Resist

If you’re going to a big signing with multiple time blocks and you’re at the end of the day, consider contacting authors with books you know you want to have them hold books for you — just be sure you follow through and pick them up. It’s not uncommon for authors to run out of things for the latest/later blocks if it’s a big event.

Gail McHugh — Author of Collide, Pulse

If the book is available that you’d like to have signed, make sure to buy it before the signing, as authors quickly sell out. Other than that, just enjoy the day!

Alessandra Torre — Author of Sex Love Repeat, The Dumont Diaries

Download the autograph app SignMYi (or one similar) to have the authors “sign” a photo you take with your phone or tablet.

Get a map and plot out your course of action early.

Bring extra markers and test them out beforehand.

How NOT To Be A Douche Reader-Attendee At A Book Signing

Now, get out there, be un-douchey, and meet your rock star!

Hi. My name is Angie, and I’m a social-media-and-smut-book-reading addict. Hi…Angie… I’ve been working hard on the magical internet since 2006 when I retired from teaching elementary school to stay at home with my two baby girls. Now, I am a smut peddler. You can follow my nonsense on Twitter and Facebook. Simply, I’m just a girl, looking at the book world, asking it to love her.

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6 thoughts on “How NOT To Be A Douche Reader-Attendee At A Book Signing

  1. Kim Box Person

    Excellent post!!!! I worked 2 signings last year and I LOVED watching someone FAN-GIRL over their favorites!!! I think you nailed it with don’t ask them to sign 50 things! I was an assistant to an author at Book Bash last year and the author was signing from the second the doors opened until it ended. She never got a break and her line never lightened. It’s courteous to others in line that you try and limit your self especially if you want to attempt to see all your favorites.

    As you said be careful what you say in line. Nailed It…..the things I heard amazed me! It’s a small world….even if you don’t think so believe me it gets around!!!!

    I laughed when you said to say who you are!!! I am terrible with remembering faces, sadly I’ve embarrassed my self running into people I graduated with, it’s fun watching the reaction when a name is said and everyone is giddy and wanting to say hi. Even if you have a pic up on FB very few people will recognize another especially when you’re already excited and your brain is on over load :)

  2. Jacqueline Yvonne

    Thank you that post and letting me know that I don’t have to act like a proper lady. And like Christy said, I can’t promise I won’t be ass-grabbing C.d. Reiss or J.A. Huss. That’s just too much emotion to hold in.

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