Most of you know how to handle yourselves at one of my book signings when it comes to asking for bunches of signatures on bunches of books. But let’s go over it one more time along with a few other suggestions that will help both the bookstore people and your tired old author.

  • When you have a large number of books, always wait until the end of the line. Or, in the alternative, ask for three to be signed and then go back through the line. But be considerate of those who have only a single book, or who have a small child or baby, or who appear to need some help due to age or infirmity, and let them go ahead. You know, basic manners.
  • If you have a lot of old books, don’t be afraid to ask me to sign them. I have a policy of doing so. But I will probably only sign most of them, particularly paperbacks, because there is only so much time to work with at these events, and I have be judicious in choosing how many I will personalize.
  • Write your name on a slip of paper so I don’t have to ask how to spell it, etc. Usually, the store provides post-its for this. It really helps move things along and lets me take more time for visiting. Please don’t write down things for me to put in the book. If you want something special, tell me. I like to improvise, not copy.
  • Using the dust jacket, flap the book to the title page. I always sign there.
  • If you have a question that didn’t get answered during the discussion or that you wanted to ask privately, ask it here. I will take time to give the best answer I can.
  • If you want to take a picture, do so. If you want to take a picture with me, that’s fine. When you check it out later, I will be the short, ugly one.
  • Don’t give me things to read that you have written. I am on the road and it is hard enough lugging myself around. I don’t usually read other people’s works anyway. I just don’t have the time or energy. Best to inquire through the website or by snail mail to the drop box. If you absolutely cannot stand waiting, give me six pages. No promises on when or if you will hear back.
  • Please have a good time. I do these events only because I think you are enjoying them. If you are not, I will give it up. That time is coming, anyway.

Thanks for your consideration. As Judine always says, “You have the best fans ever.” True, dat.

Written by Terry Brooks
I am the author of the Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series, as well as Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Street Freaks. I love to write, read, and travel. For more information about me, you can read my writing guide/memoir, Sometimes the Magic Works.