Event etiquette

Coming to one of our events, and wondering what the etiquette is? Here are the answers to some of the most common questions and concerns, from the blogs of international best-selling authors Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss. As booksellers, we think they've covered just about every angle, between the two of them, that we think author event attendees ought to keep in mind.
  • This is going to be my first booksigning and I don’t know the etiquette. Do I need to buy my book at the bookstore, or can I bring a book from home?
    Honestly? The polite thing to do is to buy your book at the bookstore hosting the event.
    You see, the bookstores hosting me put a lot of time, energy, and money into events like these. They order a BUNCH of books. They bring in extra staff to manage the crowds, set up chairs, and sometimes reorganize parts of the store. If the signing goes late, they have to keep the store open after hours.
    Also, you have to remember that while the bookstore loves you, they are also, you know, a store. A store that sells books. They need to sell books to stay in business.
    But there are other reasons too. Let’s say I do a signing and the bookstore sells 500 books. That bookstore is happy. That bookstore likes me. That bookstore wants to have me back for future events. Also, my publisher is happy, and they feel like spending the money to fly me out to events like this are a worthwhile investment.
    But if I do a signing and sell, say, 20 books, odds are the bookstore won’t be inviting me back in the future.
    Ultimately, buying a book at the hosting store is just good manners. They’re putting a lot of work into the event, and buying a book is the best way to show that you appreciate that.
    ~Patrick Rothfuss
  • Don't worry. You won't say anything stupid. It'll be fine. My heart tends to go out to people who've stood in line for hours trying to think of the single brilliant witty erudite thing that they can say when they get to the front of the line, and when it finally happens they put their books in front of me and go blank, or make a complete mess of whatever they were trying to say. If you have anything you want to ask or say, just ask, or say it, and if you get a blank look from me it's probably because I'm slightly brain dead after signing several thousand things that day.
    ~Neil Gaiman
  • Can I get more than one book signed?
    The number of books you can get signed varies from store to store. Some stores will let you take three items through the line, some stores will let you bring five. If you want more books than that signed, you’ll have to get back in line.
    For specifics, I’d suggest calling the store and asking them.
    What if you’re picking up books for eight of your best friends? Well, odds are you’ll still be able to get them signed. The main reason I’m doing this tour is to sign books. My intention at each event is to sign books until there are no more books to sign.
    I will only stop if I need to catch a plane, if the store needs to close, or if I collapse from exhaustion. That’s my plan.
    ~Patrick Rothfuss
  • If I sign it in silver or gold, give it a minute or so to dry before putting it back in its bag or closing the cover, otherwise you'll soon have a gold or silver smudge and nothing more.
    ~Neil Gaiman
  • Can I get my picture taken with you at the signing?
    Normally, my answer would be an unqualified yes. Anyone who’s glanced at my facebook page, has seen ample proof of the fact that I’m not camera shy.
    However, there are certain logistical problems with me taking pictures with everyone at these bigger signings. Simply said, photos make a long signing even longer. But what usually happens is that you hand your phone over to someone else to take the shot, then we pose, then the person can’t figure out how to use your camera. Then you explain to them that it’s the button on the side….
    You know what I’m talking about, right? We’ve all been there.
    But let’s do some simple math. Assume that 200 people show up to my signing, and I take *just one minute* with each of them to shake hands, exchange a few words, then sign a book. 200 people at a minute each means that the signing is already more than three hours long.
    That’s not even counting if people have more than one book. Or if people ask me for personalizations. If we add another 50 people taking pictures on top of that, the signing will suddenly be five hours long.
    So my answer to this is… Maybe. We can probably snap a quick picture. But don’t be offended if we have to skip it if the line is really long.
    ~Patrick Rothfuss
  • You may own everything I've ever written. I'm very grateful. I'm not going to sign it all, so you had better simply pick out your favourite thing and bring that along.
    ~Neil Gaiman
  • You may be in that line for a while, so talk to the people around you. You never know, you could make a new friend. I've signed books for kids whose parents met in signing lines (although to the best of my knowledge none of them were actually conceived there). And while we're on the subject, bring something to read while waiting. Or buy something to read, you'll be in a book shop, after all.
    ~Neil Gaiman
  • Remember your name. Know how to spell it, even under pressure, such as being asked. [If you have a nice simple name, like Bob or Dave or Jennifer, don't be surprised if I ask you how to spell it. I've encountered too many Bhobs, Daevs and even, once, a Jeniffer to take any spelling for granted.]
    ~Neil Gaiman

New books, new trailers

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014, 7 p.m., join us as the wildly talented best-selling author Lily King joins us to present her new novel, Euphoria! Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria tells the story of three trailblazing anthropologists caught in a passionate love triangle in 1930s New Guinea.

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Dan Szczesny launch party, Jim Hofford poetry, and questions for you. July 8th, 2014
Launch Party! Thursday, July 10, at 7 PM
Join us for the launch party of local author and hiker Dan Szczesny as he presents his newest work, The Nepal Chronicles: Marriage, Mountains and Momos in the Highest Place on Earth.
When travel writer (and local Hippo journalist) Dan Szczesny and his wife, Meenakshi, traveled to Nepal to marry in Kathmandu and trek to Everest Base Camp, they knew the journey would be difficult. What they didn’t realize was how life­changing their time in the land of mountains would be. From the chaos of Kathmandu’s super­charged streets to the tranquil but challenging trails of the Himalayas, his book of the journey, The Nepal Chronicles, is a deeply felt exploration of the culture and history of one of the world’s most complex places, and a meditation on the author’s own personal journey into a new family and relationship unlike any he’s ever experienced.
Dan is also the author of one of last year's bestsellers at Gibson's, The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie.

Friday! July 11, at 7 PM
Local favorite Jim Hofford returns to share his latest volume of verse and memoir, Four Score ... and More
"As a longtime fan, I'm delighted to see this compilation of James Hofford's best work. "Life, she race so fast," he writes and, yet, as poet his job is to slow time, look closely and see. He sees! These poems are sturdy, meticulously built like the best of New England's timeless stone walls. They are love stories, life stories -- some laugh out loud funny (especially the ones for children), some tears down your cheek sad. It's the long lens of "Four Score and More," the full life deeply examined that makes this collection so special. Jim's wife Ellen hears "Music in icy trees." There's music in these poems -- music and magic and sustaining spirituality." -- Rebecca Rule

Informal survey
Well, we've been here for almost a year now! We have some opinions based on experience, but are they based in fact? Let's find out. The subject today is our store hours. If you have a second, please email us with your answers.
  • We're open from 9 AM to 9 PM, every day but Sunday, when we are open 11-6. Did you know that we had such extended hours?
  • What day of the week, and what time of day, are you most likely to visit us?
  • When was the last time you came to the bookstore before 10 AM, or after 7 PM? Which is more important to you, early or late?
  • Are you more likely to combine a trip to Gibson's with other errands downtown, or when you come to see us, is that usually the only thing on your agenda?
  • During the week, once you get home, are you likely to stay there? Does this change depending on whether it's Monday/Tuesday or later in the week, closer to the weekend?
  • Before you come to the bookstore, do you check our website or Facebook page to find out what our hours are?
  • Should we figure out how to use SurveyMonkey instead of asking you to email, or do you relish the opportunity to put your thoughts into writing? ...Perhaps that is a leading question.
Thank you. We're trying to push the envelope with our hours, but we also want to have our best team on the floor when you're likely to visit. Night owls, day trippers, everyone, please tell us your preferences! 

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