Anatomy of a Book Signing (Sarcastic Version)

By Chris Gay388982_3377538558968_401329802_n

I’m guessing that many-if not all-of you have spent long, strenuous hours at one time or another pondering exactly what goes into a book signing.  Or at least I’ll take you at my word you do. At any rate, the first thing to know is that there’s a difference between someone like Stephen King setting up a book signing and, say, Chris Gay setting up a book signing. There’s also generally a difference in both attendance and compensation. But I digress. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? We shall.

The Great American Novel

It’s often said that everyone has a great novel inside him or her just waiting to come out. Actually, that’s not altogether true. What most people have is a delusion that they are a great writer and have, instead, a third rate pile of senseless rubbish waiting to come out. The problem is that the general public can’t tell the difference until they buy the book, and there’s only so much disposable income to go around.

Delusional ‘Writers

All people born after 1950 have generally been coddled from, approximately, their very moment of conception. Trophies just for participating, grading on curves, always being told “you’re special.” The obvious question left unanswered is that if everyone is ‘special,’ then who are all of these dull, talentless idiots you see around everywhere?

One unfortunate after-affect of this is that most people grow up thinking that they’re great when, in reality, they’re much more likely to be boring dolts, ignorant of history, science, politics and, especially, grammar. Wait-what did you just say to me? Whatever. I’m just the messenger.

Anyway, sooner or later some of these people will get to thinking they can write, and then do so. However adding words to paper doesn’t make you any more of a writer than successfully dyeing an Easter egg makes you Picasso. Then this claptrap is put out there where it ends up clogging up the literature pipeline like some kind of papery cholesterol. A lot of good writing gets lost within the sea of the inferior. That’s a lose-lose.

My advice, as once espoused by Clint Eastwood, is to know your limitations, and get the hell out of our way. Why not be a CEO of something instead? There’s good money there.

Moving Along

Okay, let’s say you’ve spent your two-to-thirty years writing and editing your novel and now it’s published, either traditionally or independently. Either way, congratulations; you’ve now been promoted to Head of Marketing for your own project. The hours suck and the pay is non-existent. However, your opportunity to run up significant debt is enormous. So there’s that.

All you need to do now is contact every place, everywhere, and ask them if they’d like to host you for a book signing at their venue. If, like 99.8% of writers,* they’ve never heard of you, that task is about as easy as slicing through a hot knife with cold butter.

With traditional book store chains, unless you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, or are sleeping with someone who knows someone, prepare to go through what has been known since the advent of this paragraph as the ‘Corporate run-around.’ Keep trying though, as there is a chance you can land a chain store signing without a name; same as there’s a chance to win yesterday’s Powerball with tomorrow’s ticket. (I didn’t say it was a good chance)

So, now what? You call everywhere. Hair salons, retail stores, financial institutions, health clubs, craft fairs, movie theaters, etc, etc. If you’re local, you stand a better chance. Also, mention that the promotion you’ll certainly do for it will bring the venue free advertising. A win-win.

Also, schedule radio and TV interviews. As an aside, if you happen to be great-looking, you’ll be much more likely to land these regardless of whatever drivel you typed onto Word, printed out, and glued between cardboard.

I’ve also heard that, if you happen to be an incredibly quick wit, that too may help you with getting interviews, as well as your ability to draw interest to your books through consistently humorous Facebook statuses.

Remember, you’ll need your own posters, placards, business cards, stands and cleverly designed bookmarks to leave out with your information on them. The latter, of course, is because everyone will take something made available for free regardless of its relevancy to their lives. Just ask anyone who passes out samples at a food membership club; those people who constantly hear things like,”I hate those pretzels. Oh, all right, I’ll try one.”

Be Prepared for Anything

Know that even if you have a great book for sale at a reasonable price, there’s always the chance you’ll make a huge effort for a signing, and then not sell a single tome. Don’t be discouraged. You’ve gotten the chance to get yourself and your name out there, and every little bit helps.

Also, console yourself with the fact that most people these days seem to be illiterate, anyway. Don’t believe me? Juste cheq the tipicahl sphelling on you’re soshul  mediuh websights.

Keys Points to Remember

As a favor to you I’ll recap the three most important points of this piece so you’ll always have easy access. Here are the best ways to sell your books, get interviews, and/or become rich:

1)      Be Incredibly Hot

2)      Be Incredibly funny

3)      Be Already Rich

In Conclusion

Be aware that if you’re trying to become a writer simply because you have the ability, and believe that writing is all you’ll have to do, think again. By the time you’re ready to start on your second book, you’ll notice that the easiest part of the prior one was just writing the damned thing. Go ahead, laugh. We’ll see what time tells. But in the meantime, as the French say: good luck. Only they say it “bon chance.”

*This percentage is a total guess, but it sounds about right. Maybe even on the low side.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

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As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth and fifth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota and Something Witty this Way Comes; the latter being a collection of pieces written for his humor blog. Look soon for his book Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

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http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

The Hartford County Diet: Chris Gay’s 1-Step, Guaranteed Weight-Loss Plan for the New Millennium

By Chris Gay

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 The Hartford County Diet: Chris Gay’s 1-Step, Guaranteed Weight-Loss Plan for the New Millennium             

Dedication

To Irony. This humor pamphlet, (The antithesis to my upcoming humor book ‘The Bachelor Cookbook’) was written years before I decided to take my food comedy in the opposite direction. Initially this was to be a full humor book, and pre-dates all those which I’ve already written and published. Look for ‘The Bachelor Cookbook’ in 2013; look for ‘The Hartford County Diet’ blog post directly below these words.

 Prologue

This book was conceived for two simple reasons: to make money and help people; necessarily in that order. The notion of the ‘self-help’ book has been around for decades. Just recently we’ve been inundated with the likes of The South Beach Diet, The Atkins Diet and their endlessly multiplying cousins.

While these diet plans may be initially effective they are, in fact, little more than glorified, temporary shortcuts. And not the beneficial kind either, such as deftly avoiding mall traffic by taking an alternate route to a Buffalo Wild Wings in order to make it in time for the opening face-off.

Diet Shortcuts and Dating Advice

These ‘shortcuts’ most often fail for the same reason that changing your persona on a first date ultimately does: No matter how hard you try to be someone you’re not, it’s nearly impossible not to eventually revert back to your true nature. And in the case of food, take that to mean your established eating habits.

With dating you might as well be yourself and hope she falls for the real you. Then, she won’t be surprised when three month’s later you’re still the same chore-avoiding, video game playing, non-communicative couch potato she thought she’d be able to change whom she first met. With victuals, you might as well eat whatever junk you like, ignore the sarcasm, and be happy.

So, you ask, “How do I eat what I want then and still lose weight, Chris?” This is a great question; one easily answered in the following page with great accuracy. In fact, no reputable doctor could refute it.

If followed correctly, you can absolutely eat anything you’d ever want and still shed pounds. What’s better, you can maintain it for life as well. No more PLINKO chips crop-dusted with cheese powder, (rice cakes) or energy bars chalky enough for use in writing mathematical equations on a blackboard. Unless you enjoy those things. Hey, some people like anisette-flavored licorice, so to each his or her own. I guess.

Well, Obviously

If, at this pamphlet’s conclusion, you wonder why you paid good money for the blatantly self-evident, please bear this in mind: professional comedians get paid, some quite handsomely, for pointing out the obvious. What makes you laugh is their assistance in helping you see common happenstances in a new light. Kind of makes you hold them in a somewhat greater esteem, eh?

What you shouldn’t forget though, is that the obvious is still true. Why should you buy this then, when you can simply read it in a typical wait on line in a grocery store check-out line?  For one, I would appreciate the money, and two, eventually, you’ll realize that this book is the bargain of a lifetime, if I do say so myself. And I do. Good luck to you, Reader, and God bless Capitalism.

Chapter One

The first and only step to consistent and enduring weight-loss is the following:

1)      Burn off more calories than you consume.

Epilogue

Well, now you know. That’s all there is to it. It is mathematically impossible to gain weight if your various activities cause you to expend more calories than you take in. It’s foolproof! However conscience compels me to add this little tidbit: I’m certainly no doctor or nutritionist, and I must speculate that if you asked one, he or she would likely recommend eating the proper amounts of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, grain, dairy, less junk food, blah, blah, etc, etc. There, got that out of the way.

Which is the more correct of these methods is a subject for debate in the sequel to be written later for an additional cash-grab. This book only concerns itself with the weight-loss aspect of dieting. I mean, who am I to judge you? Especially since the only time I eat fruit is when it’s on the inside of a Pop-Tart. So if you want to eat a cheese danish with lemonade three meals a day, go ahead. And while that can work for you, I would think it through a bit first.

Here’s a nickel’s worth of free advice: if you work in an office where every woman has a bowl of chocolate on her desk that she herself never seems to eat, ignore them. (The candy, not the woman. You never know where a relationship might start) Keep a large, ice-filled cup of water by your side. Eat the ice too, as it tends to be considerably low in calories. And although your dentist may discourage this particular practice, well, I’m not a dentist either so it makes me no never mind.

Add a lot more lettuce to your sandwich. It’s filling, with much fewer calories. Iceberg lettuce gets a bad rap, incidentally. Some smart-alec will always tell you it’s the ‘junk food’ of lettuce. Really? It’s essentially green, solidified water, so how bad can it be? Unless you’re allergic to it in which case yeah, avoid it.

Also, go to bed earlier, wake up later,or both; as fictitious studies show it’s difficult to eat while sleeping.

If you order a pizza, share it. If you manage to change your eating habits enough to make a real difference, who knows? You may end up as an annoying yet highly compensated spokesman for a national submarine sandwich chain. But hey, if you do, don’t worry what others think of you as long as the checks clear.

Bettercreme Frosting

If you’re going to eat cake, eat cake-with real frosting. Not one with that horrifying Bettercreme. Sure, people drink a lot of diet soda, so that’s a practical switch. But how much cake do you really eat? If you learn one thing and one thing only from this book, please, let it be that life is much too short for Bettercreme frosting.

In Conclusion

Okay, last thing: Some habits are good. If you can hang on to this mathematical solution long enough to make eating less a habit, it will then become routine. Oh, and don’t eat when you’re not hungry. In fact, here’s a formula to cut out and magnet to your refrigerator. Not Hungry=Don’t Eat.

That’s it. Off you go. Oh wait, one more thing. Get off your backside and move around once in awhile. You’ll thank me later. And if you don’t, who cares? I don’t even know you. Ciao.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

book1book2

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, sponsored minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s written three humor books: Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Recipes with a Side of Sarcasm for the Single Guy. He’s currently writing his fourth humor book, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, along with the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath. He has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. He lives in Connecticut.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

On Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

 

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