Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Got Brass? Not I, Sayeth the Ding-Dong

See, this is why I will never become a well-known author:

“Apparently signing books for six people will be a much better use of my time. Nothing against the staff of this Borders, who apparently really want me to come and have promised all sorts of advance publicity, but in my experience, chain-store signings are always an embarrassing waste of time unless you're a bestselling or local author. They stick you at a table with a little sign, and customers who apparently can't read even though they are in a bookstore ask you where to find the computer books (or maybe a copy of The Davinci Code), and you go away bruised and muttering, reminded of how little you ultimately matter in the scheme of things. Since Prime is almost as much a Dallas book as a New Orleans one, I'm disappointed that my one event there will likely be a bust. If you live in the DFW area, please, please come to this signing and prove me wrong.”

Jesus, Mary and Joseph and all their followers, and all their followers’ children, pets included. If Poppy Z. Brite can’t draw a huge, raging crowd...

Almost every novelist I know has frightened me senseless with similar horror tales. and upon reading Poppy's words regarding bookstore signings, I've come to realize that that I will forever be a spineless ding-dong whose Great American Novel will only be discovered years after my death; I will gain posthumous fame and fortune, and my great-grandchildren won't have to worry about college tuition.

I can’t even read a fucking poem in front of an audience let alone even think about the prospect of sitting in a bookstore, me a lowly nobody with a funny, nasally accent (Hi, I’m from Raaaaaayyychester -- may I have a glass of waaaaayyter?) and just...rotting. No way. I’d poop my pants then leave the store while weeping hysterically. I‘d feel sick for about, oh, five days or so, then decide it‘s time for me to move into a straw hut in the hills of Kentucky, just me, fifteen cases of hooch, and Anus, my loyal hunting dog..

Not only would the literary world lose a spectacular, wondrous, awe-inspiring talent, but my children would lose their mother.

So, I guess I’ll just stick to short stories and poems and relative obscurity, thank you very much. Praise!


At 11:55 AM, Blogger J. Stephen Reid said...

Aw Ms. Lori, just because you wouldn't draw a crowd to Border's doesn't mean we all wouldn't love your work. Nobody these days cares about a book signing unless it's Stephen King or some celebrity's ghost written masturbatory autobiography.

Besides, I'd be first in line at your book signing. In fact, I'd probably get all weird and ask you to sign my chest or something.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger P.J.Backman said...

That's why you need guys like me around, who are put on this Earth to make personally deflating, ego crushing situations and flip them on their ear by going with the absurdity of the situation.

Bring a boombox and perform karaoke versions of Muskrat Love every fifteen minutes on the hour.

Offer public viewings of your piercings if they can correctly identify a place you are pierced.

Put a Lucy-like "The Doctor Is IN. 5¢" sign on your desk.

Bring your laptop and download porn over their wifi network and print out copies, offering one with each paid book signing.

Challenge customers to Strip Thumbwrestlig matches.

Or bring a dorky dude from Tampa and make him dance the forbidden dance of the Seven paperbacks until either the store is emptied or people line up just to stop the 7th paperback from being removed.

I tell you, the opportunities are endless!

And for Miss Brite, there's very little I wouldn't do for her at her book signing in a bout of drooling fanboydom. :)

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Tisha from Texas said...

Well, when my book sells (and I say when but wonder if), I plan on rubbing the shoulders of every person that buys the thing. Since my day job is physical therapy, I think it's a fair trade. No really, I have these fantasies of book signings that are frequently dashed by the reality of published authors. I guess I will cling to my shoulder thing then. Come see me sometime.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger G-Man said...

I would amputate one leg and both arms and maybe even a fucking testicle if I could have your writing talent/gift. BTW, what is the possibility of getting an autographed copy of Two-Faced Woman? I would gladly send you a cheque and address. Email me if it's a go!

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous honestyrain said...

i did a public reading once. who knew my voice could come out so quiet? certainly not my mother. I recovered after the frist few words only to eventually bang into the microphone and in the middle of everything say oops sorry.

i got through it. it's not so bad. i'd do it again. the post read adoration is worth the pre read terror.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Joshie, I'd so be into buttock signing. Be prepared to drop trou, my brother.

Peter, you're hired.

Hey Tisha, welcome! Good luck with the book...ah, you wouldn't rub the shoulders of *everyone* would you? I mean, what if some guy had, like, old fish taped to his jacket or something?

Gary, quick! -- put down the hacksaw! I'm flattered, but from what I've read on your blog, you're a fine, fine writer yourself.

Honestyrain, I did give a public reading once, and I almost died. I want to live, dammit! I WANT TO LIIIIIVVVVVE!

At 6:51 PM, Blogger docbrite said...

Lori, keep in mind that I was speaking solely of signings at large chain stores in cities other than New Orleans. At smaller stores, which generally have closer relationships with their customers and are willing/able to put more effort into publicizing author events, I usually get a very nice crowd. However, if the prospect is still too daunting, remember that you can be a well-known author without doing book signings. They're a good way to publicize one's work, but no one holds a gun to my head and forces me to do them.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Thanks, Poppy. I just wish I wasn't so afraid of people. They're so damn scary!

I would do it if someone put a gun to my head, for sure. I'm positive my husband would be more than willing to help me along in that respect. ;-0


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