I was lucky enough to be able to attend a Robert Rankin signing recently with one of my best friends, Sam. For those of you that are lucky enough to know me, you will know that Robert Rankin is one of my favourite authors of all time (I even wrote a blog post about it). There are a few things you should know about signings. Unless he or she is really obscure, the author will have fans by the bucketload. Therefore, you will be expecting to wait. Now, luckily, I was waiting for about two minutes yesterday, because he’s not that well-known. However, if you have plans to go and see someone like J.K Rowling or someone as famous as her, then I’d suggest turning up an hour or more before the event or not going at all. Because the likelihood is that someone will be waiting. And that someone is you. For more than three hours.
If you go to the signing of an author who is relatively obscure (like I did) then you are one of the lucky ones. These will be the authors who are more enthusiastic about the large number of books you bring to be signed and the ones who are more keen to have a chat and spend a bit of time with each fan. I had a bit of chat and a laugh with him yesterday and found out why the cover was different than what he originally had planned, although he still made the finished version. I even got a free mince pie out of it, that’s something you don’t get with your massive book signings.
But it’s not all about the author, of course. Often a signing turns into an outing, due to their inevitable location many a mile from you. It’s at those times that the experience is worth it, as I went with a friend who was very tolerant of my nerdgasming, and we had a good day together that ended with him sleeping round mine. So it’s a good way to spend a Saturday if you get the chance. Some books for your own collection or eBay, have a nice lunch or snacks and browse the shops and then home. Good day, well spent.