I am EXHAUSTED, but Love n Vegas 2019 was worth it!
As most of you that follow me probably know, this was my second year at LoveNVegas book signing. I thought I was prepared, this being my third book signing, but I don’t know you can ever be ready for these things. Last year I had my little tote bag and my hubby at my side. I think I made it to six authors, all of whom I had read before. I was there maybe an hour, and I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t do more than that. I mean, there was a reader there with a rolly cooler for her books. One reader brought her entire Tillie Cole collection to be signed because I guess Tillie doesn’t do a lot of U.S. signings. I was a little teeny fish in a pond of big reader sharks who knew their shit.
So in April with my bestie in tow, I drove to Austin, TX, and attended MMM19 (see my post about it here). I’d bought a cart to haul my books in, and I was ready. I was still overwhelmed and stuck to the authors I knew. My bestie was literally the best and took all the pictures, and kept me grounded, so I didn’t get to in my head and freak out. I was still a little fish in a pretty experienced pond.
That brings us to LoveNVegas 19, which I signed up to volunteer. I know, I know, “Brittany, what the hell were you thinking”? Well, I’ve been immersing myself in this world doing the blogging thing for eight months now, and I wanted to be a part of this signing. Like really be a part. The hubs and I flew into Las Vegas on Friday, and once we checked into the hotel, we walked over to Planet Hollywood so I could go ahead and register for the signing. We didn’t do the meet and greet dinner, but we did have tickets for the costume party at 9:30. So after walking back to our hotel (we stayed at the Tropicana because we had free rooms there) and getting freshened up, we headed back to the costume party.
Not all the authors attend the meet and greet/costume party, but a lot do. It’s weird being mixed in with all these people that you adore reading their words. Hayley Faiman, who is totally badass, was there, and I got to hang out with her for a long time. I tried not to act like too much of a fangirl idiot. I’m hoping I achieved that.
After too much beer and a lot of laughs, the hubs and I walked back to our hotel. Well he walked, I danced, skipped, twirled and all around did anything but walk back to the hotel. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught some of the drunken pictures I posted from Friday night. A Bit Drunky?
I woke up Saturday a little dehydrated but overall feeling pretty good after our fun-filled Friday night. I thought I had to be there to volunteer at 10 am, so again I made my way back to Planet Hollywood. Guess what? I didn’t have to be there until 11. *Insert facepalm here* This is nothing new for me. I can sometimes be a little scatterbrained, especially when I am excited about something.
So if you were at the signing on Saturday and came to register between 11 am and 1 pm, I was the blondie behind the desk! It was a lot of fun getting to meet all the readers coming to the signing. Everyone was so excited to be there; you could feel it in the air.
At 1 pm, the doors opened to all the VIP ticket holders, and this was me! I had my cart, my list with all of my pre-orders, both for me and all of the Unicorn giveaway winners. I was prepared, overly prepared. I was not prepared. Though most authors would disagree with you, it’s like meeting a celebrity for me. These people have written words that have resonated with my soul. Sometimes they make me laugh, a lot of times they make me cry, and sometimes I feel so connected to a book I read and reread it until I could recite the whole damn thing from memory. Their words are important to me, so they are important. And now here I am in this big room, and there they are, looking beautiful, and I’m nervous as hell.
I wasn’t sure whether to tell them about my book blog, about the unicorn giveaway. I didn’t’ know if that was pushy. I didn’t want them to think I had an agenda. Honestly, I just love books, and I wanted all of the people on the unicorn list to get a chance at having a signed book from the authors they love, nothing more. I ran to Hayley Faiman’s table, because I felt the most comfortable with her, and some of the nerves eased. Hayley is the type of person you want to be best friends with, and if I can somehow convince her I am not a crazy stalker, I think she’ll be my real friend one day. After chatting with Hayley I remembered that authors are people just like us, and most of them are as nervous or more so than you are.
I met K. Bromberg for the first time, who talked to me about my blog. She asked me questions about how I was handling it, knowing that while it seems easy, it’s a big undertaking. I was blown away by her sincerity and how she made me feel like we were old friends just having a chat.
Natasha Madison and KC Lynn were both choices from my followers in the giveaway and gained a new reader in myself. Natasha was so lovely, I told her what I was doing with the giveaway, and she gave me an extra book to do a giveaway just because she is a nice freaking person. KC Lynn, honestly, the sweetest human ever! You know how you can look at someone and watch them interact with other people and know they are an amazing human. That is KC Lynn. I stood there watching her and thought why I haven’t been reading her books? She didn’t need any more P.R. than her, she sold me on her books, and I didn’t even read a blurb.
Meghan Quinn, who I stalk on Instagram because she has the cutest family ever, told me she loved my hair. I might have blacked out. Meghan is as sweet and lovable in person as she is on social media. There isn’t a fake bone in that woman’s body; I am convinced of it. Aurora Rose Reynolds is my personal Unicorn author, and I stumbled all over myself at her table. I kept circling her like she was shark bait. Creepy, I know, but I was terrified to make a fool out of myself. She was, of course, totally sweet, but I barely talked because I was star struck.
One of my favorites was Penny Reid, guys, she was knitting at her table. If you haven’t read Penny Reid, you won’t get this, but for everyone that has, how fucking cool is that? Like I giggled a bit because, there’s Penny Reid, and she’s knitting, at her table. Just like she does it every day, which she probably does, but she also writes hysterically beautiful books. Anyway, it was awesome; she was awesome.
B.B. Easton? Gahhhh, she is so cool and beautiful in person and B.B. and her husband? I mean relationship goals right there!
I wanted to sit and drink sweet tea and talk about my day with Adriana Locke. That woman makes you feel like you’ve known her for years when you just met her. Frankie Love has the best smile, and her style is totally on point with her personality. Cara Dee was recommended to me to check out from another Author, and she was the most humble human I’ve ever met. I am so excited to start reading her books. Rebecca Sharp is the tiniest little thing but so delightful, and I’m thrilled that I recently found her!
There were so many more I met, and some I didn’t get a chance to meet but were all wonderful. Aural Fixation was there, and I completely forgot to go back to their table. Though I did meet Tor Thom as registration and it weirded me out. He didn’t have a name badge one, and I kept thinking, I know you. Well, finally someone said his name, and then I was all “Holy shit I don’t know you, but I listen to you almost every night” it was very awkward, and everyone laughed, but it was also pretty cool.
By the time I got through everyone, I had been there for a total of six hours. My feet were DEAD, and I was exhausted. Hubs came back to help me load my hall, and after dinner, I crashed, until 6:30 am the next morning! I felt horrible not going out that night, but I have a pretty amazing husband, and he just smiled, kissed my temple, and told me there was nothing to be sorry for. He really is my real life book boyfriend ya’ll. Legit, the man is a saint, sent from heaven to deal with my ass.
Sunday, we spent doing tourist things since our flight didn’t leave Vegas until 6:30 pm. We landed back home around 11:30 pm and grabbing some food we made it into our bed at 3 am! WORTH IT!
Here’s my advice for first-timers wanting to attend a book signing.
- Do it! Buy the ticket, plan the trip. Don’t be scared, just jump. It’s worth it. Even if it’s crazy and doesn’t go as planned, also if you are like me and have to go it solo, just do it. It’s worth it.
- Pre-order as much as you can. First, because for me financially, it was better. A lot of authors will open pre-orders early and close them way before the signing date. So you’re not dropping a ton of money all at one time. Second and most important, if there is going to be an author, you know you want a specific book from PRE ORDER IT, or at the very least order it from Amazon and bring it with you. Think about it; most of these authors have dozens of books. There is no way they can bring all of them along and not in the stock to guarantee every person a copy. Pre-orders are the best way to go.
- Keep a list of authors you have pre-ordered for and then whether you have paid or not. Like I said above, a lot of authors will have pre-orders and send out invoices months in advance. You don’t want to forget or accidentally buy double of the books. I also keep a photo of the author list on my phone and keep it updated. This year J. Bengtsson who wrote Cake, was a last-minute addition, and I got to grab a pre-order of Cake from her. Also, life happens, so some of your favorites will cancel; it’s a good idea to keep track of this.
- Buy a cart. I did not have a cart at my first signing. I only pre-ordered ten books, and I didn’t need one. YOU NEED ONE. First of all, do you know how much ten books weigh? A lot to haul around for hours. Also, you aren’t just getting books, you are getting swag, and whether you believe yourself or not, you’ll end up buying at least one other book there. Hell at LoveNVegas19 an authors husband came up to me, handed me her book and said “Congratulations, you’ve won a free book from my wife, now go say hi and she’ll sign it for you.” it was adorable and I absolutely went over and talked to her right after!
- Go to authors tables you don’t know. I was given this advice for my first signing and didn’t do it. I was nervous and scared, honestly, and I didn’t know what to say. I have regretted this ever since. LJ Shen was at the 2018 LoveNVegas signing. At that time I hadn’t read her books, seriously a month later I read Vicious, to say I was pissed at myself is an understatement. And all you LJ Shen fanatics out there quit cussing me right now, I’ve learned my damn lesson, okay? There were so many there last year that I now know and love and missed out. I mean Haley Jenner? I only have two 6 star reads of 2019 so far, and one of them is from Haley Jenner. WTF me? So moral of my story, see all the peeps. They are fantastic and have some amazing swag. It’s worth it! Don’t be scared; they want to talk to you about their books; it’s their passion after all.
- Most importantly, have fun and don’t be too uptight about it. I’ve been to three signings to date of this post, and everyone at them has been kind and helpful. Even if you have to do it solo, you won’t really be there alone. The person behind you in line will be more than happy to take your picture with the author if you ask nicely. Plus, I’m always looking for book buddies? Are you going to Book Bonanza 2020? I am! Let’s get together!