by Lyman Rose
Well, at least for me they are not. I am anything but a famous author so there are never long lines waiting for me when I go to a book signing. (Once there were three people waiting but I think they were confused.) I am one of those authors that goes to a book signing and tries to engage people passing by in some kind of conversation that will lead to the subject matter of one of my books. I try not to ever sit at the table (unless I am actually signing a book). I stand by the table and great people with questions like - "Do you know anyone who is getting ready for a mission?" Most do, and I talk to them about "Dare to Prepare" or "The Lord Kneads You". If they tell me no, I ask them if they know anyone who is dating age and try to lead them to "Pure and Chased". If they still say no, I ask them if they know anyone who needs help getting out of debt or with their budgeting and try to lead them to "Winning the War Against Debt". Usually I can engage them in some type of dialogue.
But, over the years I have found out that the real purpose for book signings is not to sell books. I probably average somewhere between 5 to 10 books sold during an event and that doesn't make economic sense. If that event is in Provo, for example, (I live in Bountiful) it will cost me twice as much as I would make in royalties just to make the trip. That doesn't account for the couple of hours spent at the sight and the couple of hours spent in driving. If that is what I counted on, I would be making about seventy five cents and hour. The real purpose of the book signing is to make sure that the management of the book store and the employees know about your book so they can recommend it to people who come in the door. I spend most of my time telling the employees and managers about my book (when they are not busy) so that when someone comes in and asks for a book on dating, for example, they can direct them to mine.
Book writing for me has never been about the money (that's a good thing or I would be starving). It is just enjoyable to try to do something that will have a positive effect on someone else.
Good luck on your next signing!