I hesitated when my niece, the almost-famous author, Sharon Leaf, came over the other day and begged me to accompany her to her next book signing. To be honest, I have my hands full helping Betty White with her book promotion, but after rearranging my schedule, I agreed and dived in.
"Here, memorize this," I said as I handed Sharon my personal pamphlet, How to Have A Successful Book Signing in Twenty Easy Lessons.
The next day as we entered Mama Belle's Bookshop I gave last-minute instructions. "First of all, darlin', you have to know your audience."
"Oh, that's easy," Sharon replied, smiling. "Women of all ages."
I shook my head as I stacked thirty-five books on her table. "That's way too general, but we'll talk about that later. Here, I made these flyers; now walk the store and hand them out ... and smile."
Sharon came back to her book table five minutes later wearing a frown.
"I walked over to a large group of women who were grabbing up a book off the best-seller shelf."
"Very good. Then what?"
"I gave each of them my flyer."
"Wonderful! What was their response?"
A gorgeous blonde held up her gray-toned paperback and asked, 'Is your book anything like this one?' I quickly answered, 'Oh, it's much more adventurous!'"
I smiled at my niece. "You go, girl!"
"But Aunt Eunice, they totally ignored me and kept grabbing that best-seller book."
A moment later I asked, "By the way, what was the book's title?"
I could tell by the blank look on Sharon's face that she didn't know. "Ugh, well, it had a gray cover and the title was something like Fifty Shades of ... ugh, the Day, something like that."
Then I frowned. "Oh, dear; I don't think that's the audience you're aiming for." Then when I saw twenty women of all shapes and sizes making their way to Sharon's book table, I added, "Well, perhaps it is."
I placed a pen in Sharon's hand and said, "Get ready, darlin', you might make it to the best-seller list after all!"
I knew at that moment that Sharon has a lot to learn about book signings, but I ask you, who's better to teach her than her Aunt Eunice?
Until next time, keep smearin' that Vaseline on your face!