Boy do I wish someone had sent me some tips before I dragged my two daughters up to the Big Tall City for a book signing with......
The Pioneer Woman!!!!!
Since I'm such a giver, and I don't want my friends to go into these situations blind like I did, let me share my knowledge of book signings with you starting with how they run--or at least how this one ran.
The Borders book store gave out wristbands to everyone attending the book signing. For this particular event, you didn't even have to have one of her books. You could have just waited in line and said "Hey!" to her and she'd have been thrilled. I didn't buy her newest book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, but I did have a copy of her cookbook and brought that instead.
Each wristband had a letter (A, B, C, etc etc). Evidently the store started handing out wristbands at 2pm that afternoon. This would have been great to know since our letter was I. (We arrived at 5:30pm and the event started at 6pm). There were about 30 or 40 people per group.
Rule Number One: If you don't get a number/letter early, bring something to do or you'll be left to snapping self portraits of your children and random things...
See my kids? This was after about an hour of sitting on the floor. The things I put my kiddos through....
In my defense, they both enjoy The Pioneer Woman's blog as well as her tasty recipes, AND when she, her husband and two boys got off the elevator, we were RIGHT THERE TO SEE THEM!! I'm a dork. I know. But I was honestly more excited to see them than I was to see Bon Jovi. Seriously.
Rule Number 2: Since most book signings will probably draw a decent crowd of people, be sure to come with people you like to hang out with. My girls and I had a pretty good time and since it was in a book store, they roamed around and looked at books while I held our spot in line.
This is the line of people in the "I" group. What this doesn't show is the line we letter "I"'s had to get into in order to make our way to P-Dub herself. Think Disney World Space Mountain during high season except the line was all women. Lots of girlfriends, book clubs and families. Everyone was super nice and very patient.
Rule Number Three: If at all possible, I'd leave the babies at home. Really. Truly. This may be just me, but there were a TON of babies at this event! Everyone knows P-Dub loves babies, but unless you were in an early group, you were waiting hours and hours. At one point we all saw this:
I could only get 3 strollers in my picture---there were about 12 of them all together. The moms were rocking the strollers while their husbands waited in the line. The moms joined their partners when their turn came at the signing table. Needless to say, there was more than a little crying going on. Again, this one may be just me, but I say anything that may mess up a baby's schedule is not worth it. They were cute, though.
Rule Number Four: While waiting in line, have your kids do things for you.
While we were waiting, I noticed P-dub's husband, Marlboro Man, was also signing books. As a side note, their two younger sons were also there and were signing books too--it was adorable. Anyway, in the cookbook there is a picture of his face. I asked my middle daughter to run over there (since I couldn't leave the line) and get him to autograph his face.
Here she is, being brave, asking Mr. Pioneer Woman to sign on his face (which he did). My daughter came back and said he was as nice as we thought he would be. He asked her about what she did at school and wanted to know what she liked best in the cookbook (the chocolate cake). Again, a gracious guy. And she was thrilled he actually signed the page.
Rule Number Five: If you're waiting in line for a looooooong time (like 4 hours) to get a book signed, take that time to write down what you want to say to the author. That may sound completely dorky, but believe me, you'll be glad you did.
While I was waiting, I was thinking about asking her how long it takes for her to write a blog post, if she cooks a lot, takes pictures a lot and then spaces her posts out over a few days, exactly what kind of yoga pants she wears because they seem to wear like iron for her, and if she got a chance to see the aquarium. Plus, if I'd really been on the ball, I'd have gotten her a pair of MY favorite yoga pants by lululemon.
When I get to the table, all that comes out of my mouth is "We love your chicken spaghetti recipe!" and "My daughters' were excited to see that your girls are tall too!". Not the most memorable things to say.
I did, however, manage to get this...
I look like a crazed fan and she looks gorgeous. She was gracious, sweet, engaging and involved my girls in conversation about cooking and soccer. For the few minutes we were with her, she was nothing but the best. We were all hungry and tired, but so glad we waited it out and we left on a complete Pioneer Woman high.
And look at that picture. We're totally BFF's now. completely.