Friday, February 3

Spreading the Love: Author Signings

Because I'm not writing these days, and the only thing I'm allowed to say about my RITA entries is that I received them (which I said last week), I'm opening up my February blog posts to my writer peeps. They are FAR more prolific (and entertaining) than I am, and since February is the month of love, I like the thought of spreading the blog love.

If you love romance, once of the best ways to do so is to go to book signings and mingle with other romance lovers and the authors who write them. It's an awesome experience to be in a room with anywhere from a couple dozen to a couple hundred kindred souls! One such event which is near and dear to my heart because it was my first, is the Writers on the River author signing event in Peoria, Illinois. And the inspiration for the event, Jillian Jacobs, was kind enough to talk about the event, her experience as an author and coordinator, and advise on how to make the most of a signing:

Greetings All! I’m Jillian Jacobs. I write romantic adventures under the paranormal and romantic suspense banner. I also coordinate. Not only our RWA chapter’s conference but a book signing in Central Illinois.

Why would I ever want to coordinate a book signing, let alone attend one, you might ask? First let me tackle why I decided to coordinate a book signing. I’d attended a few signings, but they all seemed to be in the general Indiana area. Since I’m from Illinois, I thought I’d schedule one there, and not in Chicago but Central Illinois. Initially I wanted to have the signing on an actual casino boat, but since that didn’t work, I settled on the hotel associated with the casino. I made a plea for help and was lucky enough to have a very popular blog sign on. In doing so, I feel we created a fantastic mix. I was an author, they were bloggers and author fans. We added in someone who knows their way around the more technical aspects, like ad design, and we were off.

Would I suggest someone volunteer to coordinate an event—and it is a volunteer position, as we don’t get paid, I would say, do you have the time to focus on this event? Do you have trusted friends who have strengths outside your own? The Writers On The River crew and I talk about this event basically every day. Those are hours away from our families and in my case my writing, and even my reading. God forbid!! ;-) A lot goes into the event planning, and I would suggest attending a couple different events and getting a feel for your likes and dislikes and maybe sitting down and talking to a few successful coordinators before you begin.

That being said, Writers On The River is having a sale on tickets for Valentine’s Day. Writers On The River, an author signing and book sale event, will feature 80+ romance authors [Ava adds: including me!!!] at the Par-A-Dice Hotel, 21 Blackjack Blvd in East Peoria on Saturday, July 8th, 2017. New York Times and USA Today best sellers will be in attendance. This event is hosted by Healing With Words. The Buy One Get One Free sale is on our General Access tickets. This allows the customer to enter an hour early (Noon) with the VIP guests, but they do not have access to the after-party.

I look at signings as a huge public relations opportunity, which is another reason I wanted to coordinate an event. I like my name being associated with helping other authors. I like to give back to a community that has done so much for me. I also like to support women’s issues and am happy to announce that Writers On The River 2016 raised $1,500 for Thistle Farms. I’m very proud of that.

Signings are opportunities to socialize with what are essentially my co-workers in the writing field. Connections are important in this growing and ever changing environment, and in order to be on the cusp, you have to sometimes ride the wave.

What better way to do so than at a signing in Central Illinois right on the Illinois River!

The tables are full, and our wait list has over 100 people, but please attend as a reader. Make this a social event or girlfriend’s weekend trip. I promise you’ll have fun, and make new author friends in fantastic positive (and yes gamble-friendly) environment.


  1. Thanks Ava! I hope to see everyone at #WOTR17!!

  2. FMI

  3. I'm glad it's going so well, Jill!

  4. Jill, kudos to you for taking on this massive project. I wish you much success. And Ava, good luck at the signing and have fun. Wish I could be there!

  5. I attended last year and had a wonderful time! I'm hoping to do this again in another year or so:)