So we all know the most obvious benefit of a book signing: Selling books. Yay! (Let me also point out that I easily sell three times as many books at the grocery store as I do at a bookstore. Go figure.) But having just finished an 8-week tour of grocery store book signings, I've discovered some other less likely benefits. Some are extremely helpful; others are merely hilarious.
1) Photographs. There have actually been several excited people who wanted their picture taken with me. I hope I didn't preen too much.
2) Job offers. Yep. Someone thought I was doing such a great job behind my table that he offered me a job behind his table, selling jewelry at a store.
3) Speaking opportunities. I cannot tell you how many teachers came in that grew very excited to know I was local. Now I just sit here waiting for them to contact me...
4) Newspaper attention. And not from press releases, either. One woman came through that runs a serial column in a statewide newspaper. She offered to serialize a book of mine that's not under contract to help me get a bigger fan-base. (And I'd get paid for it, too.) Way cool. I know just what book I want her to do that to, also. I just haven't written it yet.
5) More book signings. People are so helpful. They all come in and give me contact information for someone they know who has an indie or used bookstore and would love for me to come do a signing. Isn't that nice? :)
6) Library appearances. Librarians are always excited to meet me, too.
7) Free products. Mary Kay ladies and Avon ladies have handed over free samples in exchange for a bookmark. Yay! Except...they didn't buy my book. So...I'll keep buying Mary Kay from my mom (who had a website here if anyone needs a Mary Kay lady).
Not to mention that I'm learning
7) Temperance. It's really rude when you say hi to someone and they look away and walk off without a word. Seriously. Would a "hello" kill ya??? Or even a smile?? After the twentieth time this happens in a day, people are lucky I don't run after them yelling, "Excuse me, I said hi to you! Didn't you hear me?" Breathe deeply. Calm down. It's okay.
What about your book signings? Have you had any unexpected benefits?