The Worst Best Book Signing Ever
Forget what you've seen on TV. Book signings are rarely anything more than quiet affairs. A few bookish friends show, a handful of dedicated fans (if you're lucky), and whatever strangers are drawn to the type of book you're signing or the quaint idea of meeting a "real, live author." Aside from that, you meet the odd person wanting directions to the restrooms or to know where the latest issue of Skin Art Quarterly is shelved. A lot of working-class authors (huge superstars excluded) feel a successful two-hour signing is one where 20, 15, 10, or even 5 signed books are sold.
Unless you've been on TV. Or you're giving away money.
That's right. Paying cash. To people willing to stand in line for your book signing, as The Learning Annex has with Donald's Trump's new book (written with Bill Zanker), Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life. A hundred bucks a pop for the first hundred folks in line (many of whom took off after pocketing their loot), fifty a head for the next two hundred, and ten apiece for the next thousand. Check it out in this article from the NY Times City Room Blog.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not a fan of The Donald. His ego alone... well, let's not go there, and the bribes-for-line-standers reminds me of certain totalitarian governments who pay demonstrators to underscore whatever point the regime wants made before the world press. But I'll have to give the man this. I'll bet he doesn't spend a lot of times at signings directing people to the restrooms.
What do you think?