Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Different Kind of Book Signing...

Hello Friends,

I think the highlight of Autumn for me, aside from Thanksgiving and Caramel Apple Day at my sister in law's house, was a Ladies Tea I attended yesterday, Saturday, October 13. I was invited to be the guest author and bring books for the attendees. I had never been to a ladies tea before, so this was a new experience.

My hostess set up a table with all the deckings of Fall...paper leaves, tapered candles, tea candles set in glass dishes surrounded by popcorn kernels, pretty dessert plates, individual tea cups, platters of scones, apple cider, and maple leaf cookies. She provided for me a table where I could set out books. Although the tea was quite elegant, the atmosphere was casual.

Honestly, I have never much enjoyed book signings. You sit behind a table just waiting for someone to purchase a copy. Some people just walk by. Others stop, pick up your book, look at it, set it down and move on without a word, except for a response to 'hello, I'm...'. Of course there are friendly people who do buy a book. But most authors will tell you, it's not as exciting an adventure as you may think. You feel like a sales woman more than an author.

The contrary with the Ladies Tea. It was a time of fellowship. We chatted as a group. We talked about how our parents chose our names, family history, and writing. The questions the ladies asked were so fun and prompted a lot of discussion. When we were finished, the ladies bee-lined it to the table and I was so touched by their enthusiasm to buy signed copies. One precious lady bought two sets of all my books.

If you have an author in your area, and you enjoy teas, why not host one? If you are part of a book club, why not host a tea for the next book discussion? Give the tea a title. For example, your club has just finished reading Pride & Prejudice. Call it 'Tea at Longbourn'. Or 'Tea with Elizabeth and Jane'. A Christmas Tea for your book club would be an elegant addition to the Holidays.

And I can't close without suggesting a tea for my books with your book club. There are discussion questions in the back of all my Abingdon Press novels.

Here are a few websites about Tea Book Club meetings that may spark your imagination by giving you some great ideas.

Eras of Elegance 'How to Host a Victorian Tea Party'.
A Book Club Tea Party Guide.

Photos were taken by Babett Horn, my hostesses. She knows her stuff!


Jessica Nelson said...

How fun, Rita! The picture is lovely and I'm so glad you had a good time. :-)

Rita Gerlach said...

Thanks, Jessica. It was far more fun than sitting behind a table at a store.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea! I belong to Northwest Christian Writers Association in the Seattle area and we've been blessed to see many authors published in the past year. However, it never occurred to me that someone else could host a book signing for an author. You got my wheels spinning. Thank you for sharing your experience!