Years ago, I led a writer’s group that met in a Christian bookstore. When I drove up for the meeting, I felt lucky to find a place to park. Store employees were directing traffic.
Inside, people were standing in line all the way to the coffee shop at the back of the store, where our group met. Why all the people? A celebrity author was signing a book about success.
Why had all those people come? To buy the book, to meet the author, or to get the message that would make them a success? Your guess is as good as mine, but the one person who was successful that day was the author.
I’m not a celebrity, so my experience with book signings in bookstores, libraries, and conferences is less than spectacular. I have spent hours watching people pass by, not interested, until a friend showed up who was willing to visit. Since I don’t enjoy staring at the walls, I hate book signings. At least most of them.
I had never thought of doing a book signing in a church. Maybe it’s my psychological hangup that views selling books and CDs in church as too closely resembling the merchants that Jesus threw out of the Temple. In churches, I give away books and accept donations, but I don’t sell them.
Last Easter, I was asked to sit at a table and sign copies of Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story. That was fun because not being a celebrity meant that people wanted the book for the message.
Maybe this is something I should do at lots of churches.