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Thoughts During a Book Signing…
Teri Brown - Young Adult Author

Thoughts During a Book Signing…

Before the signing: Do I have enough bookmarks? Enough candy to give away? Stickers? What if I run out of something? Maybe I should have the bookseller get me more caramels, or more water. My throat gets dry if I talk too much. I hope my mom doesn’t show up. People will think I’m not professional. God, I hope I sell a lot of books or else the booksellers will think I’m a loser…

During the signing: Oh, this is fun. More people will show up. Maybe I should call my mom. That would be nice. She loves things like this. No, she’ll just tell everyone she’s my mother and the booksellers will think I was desperate. Is that woman looking at me? No, she’s running away. Doesn’t want to buy a book. Or talk to me. No one's talking to me. Maybe I’m smiling too big. I look like a freak when I smile too much. No one likes a smiley author. I’m all by myself. Maybe I'll just rearrange these pens…

Later during the book signing: That was a nice little flurry. See people do like me.  That one person though… No, I don’t want to write your life story. Yes, I’m sure your life would make a wonderful book. Keep smiling. Twenty minutes of conversation and no book. Maybe if I rearrange the piles to look smaller, like I’m selling. The bookseller is so nice. She keeps asking if I need anything. A few more customers, I said, jokingly. Was it my imagination or did she look a bit pained? Maybe it was because of that one customer who said it looks like a great book, but they have it cheaper at Target. Well, at least I made it into Target…That's it. I'm calling my mother.

Toward the end of the signing: Can people see that I’m sweating? Why does that bookseller keep apologizing for the lack of customers? Doesn’t she know that it’s much better if we pretend that everything is fine? That they didn’t order in fifty books and we’ve sold six? Oh my god, I’ve eaten all the caramels. I can’t believe my mom said she was too busy to come down. Oh, God, even my mother doesn’t want to come to my signing. I’m doomed! I’ll never sell another book. Everyone will know… What did authors do before they could play games and read tweets on their cell phones…

End of the book signing: Thank God that’s over. Two hours and eight lousy books sold. Why do I do this to myself? I’ll never do another signing. What a waste of my time. I could be writing. I just want to escape…Oh, God, what does that bookseller want now? Another signing for the holidays? With other authors? Oh, that sounds like so much fun! Of course, just shoot me an email…

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