Last week I had my first book signing for Bones Unearthed, my first novel. Coming up on a book signing is a little like holding an open house party. What if I am all set up and nobody comes? Actually, it is a little scarier than a party because I have invested myself in getting the word out that I will be at a particular book store with copies of my book, pen in hand to sign any books bought that day. Notices went out, as did emails to friends and acquaintances. The book store had a poster out front and the was a tiny announcement in the newspaper a few days before. I arrived about 20 minutes before the announced time with lemonade and cookies to sweeten the deal and then I waited.

The signing was scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. At 11:01, several friends arrived prepared to buy books and have them signed. A moment of relief. I was not going to sit there for an hour hoping someone would show up. The relief, however, was short lived. One of the attendees asked, “When are you going to begin your talk?”

Oops. I hadn’t prepared for a talk—I was just planning to sign books. The good news is that I enjoy talking about my book and Cahokia, the archeological site in southern Illinois where the action takes place. So, after everyone had bought their copies of the book, I had duly signed them, and those who were hungry or thirsty had refreshed themselves, I started my impromptu lecture.

A few other people wandered in during the hour. They, too, bought books and listened to what I had to say.

I will not make the best seller list from the sales at my first book signing, but it was an enjoyable experience and one that I hope I will get the chance to repeat.

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