The Joy of Book Signing

Developing a readership is not easy. I used to think all I needed to do to be a full-time writer was write books. How very foolish I was! In this day and age of social media, one can spend an inordinate amount of time developing ads, memes, blogs, and give-a-ways—so much so, that little time is left for actually developing, writing, and editing one’s novels. At least, this is how I often feel—a victim of our technological age.

Make no mistake; I am grateful that through social media I can reach out to so many devoted and potential readers throughout the globe—virtually speaking, of course. Yet what I truly love is the one-on-one connections I make when I take the time and energy to meet my readers at bookstore signings. Whether they be friends, family members, or strangers, sharing with these folks who come out of their comfortable homes to meet not only with me but with other Gwen Overland Readers at a nearby bookstore is at least for me a real treat.


My most recent book signing was at Village Books and Paper Dreams in the town of Lynden, Washington.  This northwest area of the state is the setting of my Salmon Run novels, and what a beautiful location it is. Dairy farms, tulip fields, Dutch bakeries, and the Puget Sound combine to make a rich palette from which to draw my small town stories. I began the series by fictionalizing the people and the town of Salmon Run, though most of my readers know Lynden itself was my true inspiration.  And many of those people like the inhabitants of Salmon Run live along the I-5 corridor of Washington and Oregon, making it fairly easy for them to attend one of my book signings.

Meeting the people face-to-face who have read or are reading my books makes the hassle of bookstore touring worth everything. To put a face, a voice, and a smile to a fan who has either responded to my Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook pages brings in the human element in what often feels like a solitary pursuit or merely a business. So … if you are a reader and have the chance to attend one of your favorite author’s bookstore signings, do so. You won’t regret it, and you’ll make some writer a very happy human being.

Gwen Overland