The First Signings
Before setting up public book signings, there are two sets of signings an author should do. One is for the pre-orders and initial orders s/he is personally handling. The second is for the team who helped the author get the book out. This might typically include editors, artists, production people, early readers, and people who just personally helped the author through the process of turning a manuscript into a book. Today's signing was the latter type; I broke out the quill pen and ink for the occasion.
The quill pen set and period correct "oak" ink are from Visker & Scrivener. I cannot recommend them enough. Great products, great people, great service.
Strictly speaking, the toothpick-dispensing bird wasn't necessary for the signing, but it's always nice to have a smart-aleck raven nearby whispering "Nevermore" at random times, even if I'm the only one who hears her.
The laptop has a spreadsheet with the list of those getting books; I would be mortified to chance forgetting anyone!
Not shown are the matching bookmarks, blotting paper, or sticky notes for labeling who each book belongs to. I autograph each book with a personal note, blot it (the paper in these books absorbs most of the ink, but there's always a remnant waiting to attack the facing page), insert the bookmark, label the recipient with a sticky note, and put the whole package in a ZipLock[tm] bag to keep it in good condition.
Coffee keeps me from falling asleep and smearing the ink with my beard, or poking my eye out with the quill pen. Contrary to popular myth, I do not think an artist must suffer to produce good art. Hence, I avoid poking my eye out whenever possible. So far, so good!
So who gets these particular books? Generally it's the folk who appeared in the credits yesterday. For me, writing is easy. It's almost like breathing; I just do it. But turning a story into a book worth reading is a lot more work and requires help. To then turn a polished manuscript into an actual book one would be happy to own is even more work, and well beyond my skills. This team is responsible for this book. I love you all; you're awesome. Thank you.