You’ve got to tip an awful lot. It seems like we’re tipping everybody. – Eric Reed
When I stand near a table where my books are arranged in a nice stack, I hope to entice a buyer or two to take a chance on my book. No matter how well-prepared I am, the experience is challenging, intimidating, and exciting.
I try to make my table look neat and interesting. A large poster of the cover of The Ride draws attention to the area. I give away bookmarks and flyers. Sometimes, depending on where the signing is held, I might add a bowl of candy. But I have never thought to include a tip jar on my table.
I realize when someone is a best-selling author, book signings take on a whole different flavor. People know who you are, they recognize your work, and they line up to see you. Whatever the reason—to attract attention, boredom or research for a new book, did David Sedaris go over the top with his tip jar?
According to an article in Canada’s National Post:
“A couple of books ago, I put a tip jar on my signing table and I made over $4,000 on my tour,” Sedaris told the Post. “The problem was then I started hating people who didn’t tip me. I didn’t say anything to them, but I would just sit there thinking, ‘You cheap son of a bitch. I just signed four books and you can’t even give me a dollar?’ And why should they? But I just got so involved in it. I had to stop doing it.”
“I told people it was all for me to spend on candy. They were delighted because it’s funny to give money to someone who doesn’t need it. If there had been a beggar outside the bookstore, at the end of the evening, he might have had 75 cents where as at the end of my best evening in Dallas–[ I had] $530 in tips.”
In reading the article I can see the humor. Still I think I would have been bothered by the sight of the tip jar. It might concern me enough to step out of line or even change my mind about buying his book. After all, I know how to tip hairdressers, servers, taxi drivers, valets and so on. But how much do you tip an author?
Would you consider a tip jar? Have you ever tipped an author? Would you? What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen or done at a book signing to attract attention?
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next week.
Tags: David Sedaris, Book Signings, tip jars, Eric Reed, The Ride