I met lots of fiction readers, which was refreshing, and was able to talk fiction with the staff and customers. One of the things I love about talking fiction is being able to recommend lots of good books. I realize that not everyone likes to read historical fiction (though, blessedly, lots of folks do) so if someone says they like thrillers or contemporary fiction or mysteries or medical stories or legal stories, etc., I get to recommend books by Brandilyn Collins, Robin Jones Gunn, Camy Tang, Richard Mabry, and James Scott Bell.
Some customers are surprised that I would recommend other authors' work instead of pushing them to buy my own, but in truth, I don't find it strange at all. As I said, not everyone reads historical romance, and even I don't confine my own reading to only historical fiction. Recommending someone to a new-to-them author is a great thrill, especially if I know the author personally, which in most cases I do. :)
Living Word Bookstore has a wonderful fiction section. And they did a great job promoting the book signing. A mass email, offering a coupon off any non-sale item, and offering a special price on my books that day. They purchased radio advertisement and used bag stuffers to let their customers know that there was a special event at the store. They had cookies and lemonade and other snacks, and they had everything all set up beautifully when I arrived.
I know some authors don't like doing book signings, but I don't mind. I love meeting readers (no matter what they like to read) face to face.
Question for you: Do you like to attend book signings? Have you ever gone to one just to encourage the author?
Today I'm guest blogging over at http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/ about some of the specifics of writing historical fiction. I hope you'll pop over there and encourage both me and Stephanie Morrill, who runs the blog.