Ever wondered when you find an autographed book in the grocery store or the Target how it got there? Did the author do–as it is known in the business–a drive-by? Or did they, as I just did this week, find themselves in a warehouse surrounded by pallets of books (yes, I said pallets, not boxes) and were asked to sign all of them, so that not only your Target or Meijer’s or Krogers has an autographed copy, but so do every other store in that chain, state, or region.
That is how I found myself this week in a warehouse outside of Chicago and facing down table after table of books, all ready with stickers, bookmarks and just awaiting that one last thing: my autograph. I just about fell over when I saw all those copies. I’d never seen so many copies of my books all at once.
It is a little daunting when you realize the table is bowing under the sheer weight of all these books. Rather impressive, until you realize you have to sign them. All of them. Oh, and the other table beyond that. And when you empty one, the warehouse elves come along and refill it. Crafty little fellows those warehouse elves. Never turn your back on them.
Of course there is no pressure to sign all them. Except for the sales rep sitting beside you telling you how many copies Julia Quinn did or how Eloisa James fared facing her mountain of titles. Yeah, no peer pressure or guilt there.
With that in mind, because every one knows authors are so not susceptible to peer pressure or competitiveness, you sort of hitch up your uni-balls (as in pens) and get going. One at a time. And just keep signing. And signing. And signing. Then you start popping the Advil when you find you can’t uncramp your fingers from the pen, and your shoulder feels like it is stuck, and still, you keep signing.
I signed thousands–copies of Love Letters from a Duke, Tempted by the Night, His Mistress by Morning, and One Night of Passion. This is a chance for lots of readers to get their hands on autographed copies just as they will be out looking for copies of the new books, Confessions of a Little Black Dress and Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress.
And no, you can’t just get a rubber stamp and bless the books that way. It. Has. To. Be. Your. Signature.
After two very long days of signing, I have to confess that the happiest sound in the world is when the tape gun closes up the last box, and the last pallet is returned to the warehouse where all those signed, sealed and delivered books will await shipment to stores all over. With my hand in a brace, I headed for O’Hare, thrilled that I’d gotten the job done. One book at a time. While waiting for my flight, I scanned the shelves at the bookstore and saw a signed copy of one of Tess Gerritsen’s books. I flipped it open and smiled at her signature.
Hey, if you see one of my autographed books in the next few weeks, shoot me a pic and send it in! I’d love to do a little map to find out where they all end up. Sort of a “Where are the copies?”
Contest: Take a guess at how many books I signed and who ever comes the closest will win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Just leave a comment with your guesstimate before midnight PDT, Sunday, March 22nd.