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What goes into a Barnes & Noble Book signing?

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

A book signing is more than showing up polished with books and a pen.
There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.

Allow me to tell you my story. Here’s a special look behind the scenes of L. B. Anne’s shenanigans.

You know me; I don’t really do book signings. Five Things About Dragonflies released, and I decided it was the book that should have a book signing. I’d received nothing but positive feedback and a glowing Kirkus review, so I said "Why not? Let’s do it.”

Well, first I had to get the nerve to actually walk into a Barnes & Noble and ask to have a book signing. I went to an independent bookstore and was told that local authors don’t sell. Insert kick to the gut. I left there and went to Barnes & Noble. Now think about it, I was just turned down and still continued on to the next store even though I’m not traditionally published and Barnes and Noble didn’t know me from Shannon Denby (I made that name up).

Sweat poured from my armpits (thank goodness for a loose-fitting shirt) as I introduced myself and told the manager about my books. Lo-and-behold, he wore a smile the entire time. That made it a little easier. Then he told me he had to talk to his people and he would get back to my people (me). Listen, three weeks went by with no response to my follow-up email--or my next 3 emails. So I mustered up the gumption to go back to Barnes & Noble and confront the manager.

I had to be slick about it, so first I looked around at books in the middle grade section. I wanted to purchase a few, anyway. Then I turned around, and a man was standing behind me at a computer. It was him. I reintroduced myself, but he knew exactly who I was and said he was reading my emails as I approached. He’d been on vacation.

Now, I felt like a stalker.

He told me we were good to go and Barnes & Noble needed to order books. Then he asked how many I thought they should order. Now get this, “Fifty!” I exclaimed like I knew what the heck I was talking about.

He looked at me like I was nuts.

In case you didn’t know, they never order that amount. It’s more like 20 or 25.

“Thirty!” I said after he told me that. “And I will sell the heck out of those books!” Where did this person come from? I was even shocked I said it.

He emailed me later. “We ordered 25.” LOL.

Well, after that, panic mode set in. Can I sell 25 books? Will anyone even show up?
Before long, I’d gone from panic mode to preparation mode. There were banners and pocket cards to be designed and decisions to be made. And questions—so many questions. How would I decorate my table? What would I give as a gift? What would I wear? Did people still bring a bowl of candy? Did everyone know how to use a QR code? I needed one of those, too. I needed shoes I could stand in for 3 hours. Advertising—where to start? Do I need teeth whitening strips?

And back to panic mode. “Yikes, I have to sell 25 books!”

Needless to say, it’s been a busy and emotional rollercoaster kind of month. I’m going to come back after the signing and update this post. Don’t you want to know how it turns out?

If you live in Florida, I sure hope you’ll attend. Why? Because I have TWENTY-FIVE BOOKS TO SELL!


Update! We sold out!
It was such a wonderful and rewarding experience. I became Ms. Extrovert and enjoyed meeting so many awesome children, teachers, librarians, and families.

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