Book Signing

Hi Everyone,

Until today, I’ve done three book signings in my writing life. The first one was right after my first book was published, and I got booked into what looked like a big drug store (I was about 21 years old, and had just had published the book I wrote at 19). It was in Gilroy, California, at the time of the Garlic Festival (the smell of garlic was overwhelming as I signed), and the mayor at the time tried to kiss me. It was an interesting introduction into the world of book signings. And I was never very inclined to do book signings, and did no publicity at all for my books in those days. I spent my time writing, and taking care of my children. I never went on tour or on the road for my books. I didn’t really have time, and preferred to be at home writing, and with the kids. And I didn’t do interviews either then.(And still rarely do them now.)

My second book signing was in Chicago a while later. I can’t even remember how I got roped into it. There were two other authors scheduled to be signing books, at a book store, and somehow the people who arranged it, failed to mention that both of the other authors were very unusual and admirable people. One was a Viet Nam vet who had lost all four limbs, and had written a book about his experiences. The other was a fairly well known author whose courage I had admired, who had been severely abused and sequestered as a child, had survived it, and gone on to be a writer, and she too had suffered damage to her limbs. Not to sound disrespectful, but it was somewhat startling at the time, because both of these remarkable people signed their books with a pen they held in their teeth. And I sat between them, feeling odd and guilty because I could sign my books with a pen held in my hand. They were both interesting to talk to, but it was a very unusual experience.

And my third book signing happened during a blizzard in New York, several years later. Not a soul showed up in the terrible weather, no one bought a single one of my books, and only a homeless lady came into the store, to get out of the weather, and ate all of the hors d’oeuvres that had been provided. We chatted for a little while, she finished the food and left. And shortly after, I left too.

Somehow all three experiences convinced me not to try book signings again, and the subject hasn’t come up in thirty years. Until recently. A friend in San Francisco owns a beautiful shop for elegant things for the home, china, place mats, crystal, unusual and lovely objects, cashmere blankets,and she sells some books as well . She asked if I would do a book signing of my current non-fiction book about dogs, “Pure Joy”, and because I like her and the shop is terrific, I agreed. It sounded like fun to me when she suggested it, and I’ve been looking forward to it. And I wasn’t disappointed. She set it up beautifully with a desk where I could sit and sign, in the midst of the wonderful things she sells. Valet parkers made life easy for everyone, she had sent out a really beautiful invitation, and lots of nice people came—and I knew many of them. And we sold a lot of books. It was totally fun and beautifully done. I enjoyed it, and I think everyone else did too. An even nicer touch was that she gave a percentage of the book sales to a charity to assist homeless children. it was a win-win in every way, for the children who benefited from it, for us selling books, and for the people who came and enjoyed the event too. It was great!!

I can’t promise to do another one. But the fourth book signing of my life was a winner in every way!!!

love, danielle

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11 Comments so far
  1. Margaretha November 11, 2013 12:13 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    Can’t wait to get my copy… Here in Australia we have to wait until the 2nd of December. I popped into my local bookstore and they said they have had a lot of interest and orders already! Shame we can’t get signed copies here.

    Kindest regards,

    Margaretha

  2. Adriana November 12, 2013 11:34 am

    J’espére pouvoir avoir la chance de te connaître et aussi d’avoir une autographe. Quand je te lis, je me lis à moi, chère Danielle.

    Love,
    Adriana,
    from Barcelona.

    ¡Un abrazo!

  3. Shirley Halewood November 13, 2013 7:58 pm

    Hello Danielle.
    That was funny what you said about the Garlic Festival. I imagine it would be very overwhelming when accompanied by an over zealous mayor.

    I wish you’d talk a little bit about your writing life. How do you get down to the business of writing a story and sticking to it? What is your technique? Do you outline? I always get the feeling that the main woman character in your books is you, a big chunk of you. I like you.

  4. Tonda Pasowicz November 14, 2013 4:34 pm

    Good evening,
    How do I get a signed book? I have a very good friend Roxanne that loves your books. I would love to get her a signed book from you for Christmas . Any book is good because she loves all of your books. I will pay for it and shipping , just need to know how to go about this.
    Thank you for your help!
    Tonda Pasowicz

  5. Cora November 15, 2013 8:57 pm

    Hello
    I recently started volunteering at a school in Canada. We were fixing up the library one day and we came across a book by Danielle Steel. The title is “Martha and Hilary and the Stranger”. I immediately said to the other girls that it must be one of your very first books. I brought it home with me and I’ve just now googled you as I saw that you dedicated the book to your daughter Beatrix. I googled to see what the name of your first daughter was and sure enough.

  6. Melissa November 21, 2013 7:33 am

    I was just thinking about this last night while reading one of your books. I wish that I could get a book signed by you. You are my favorite author and I have read every book you have written. I did have a time that I fell behind and am now catching up with your latest few but I am almost there again. Your books are well worth reading more than one time. I will be anxiously waiting for your new book. ♥

  7. sandy roberts December 7, 2013 4:45 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    I am 55 years old and have been reading your books since my teens. I have NEARLY the entire collection. I am always on the lookout for the books I am missing. My achievement is to complete the set. I have all hardbacks. Some, sadly, i am told, are no longer in
    print. Obviously I do not know you personally, but I have always felt that your writings are based on your own life experiences. You come across as a thoroughly decent human being as, despite your
    success, through your own hard work, your feet remain firmly planted and you reach out to those less fortunate. I look forward to reading ‘Winners’ and ‘Pure Joy’. This has been a joy to me to be able to contact you. Thank you for your books and keep on writing. Regards Sandy Roberts x

  8. Marianne Dyczka March 3, 2014 2:19 pm

    Dearest Danielle!

    I’am a longtime reader since a teenager and would very much be honoured to have you sign one of your books.

    Is there any possible way that this could be done from Mississauga, Ontario in Canada.
    Devoted Reader,
    Marianne

    ps Thank you for a great escape and beautiful holidays that I could not afford in real life.

  9. Sharon Moore April 28, 2014 6:27 am

    You may already know but your friend Patty Suchy passed away a few weeks ago. I live 2 doors away from her and I had seen all of your books in her home and she had commented that she had all of your signed books and that you were a great friend of hers. The family are finalizing the cleaning out of Pattys house Her niece took your entire set of your signed books. I don’t think they know that it could be of great value. What would be your suggestion of how to inform them of the importance of your wonderful books. (By the way, I have read most of them over the years) Thank you for your time. I would appreciate hearing from you. God Bless You!

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  11. Joe Benzel July 15, 2014 11:41 am

    I have to say those are quite some experiences :) i have always loved your writing im 25 now and was prob about 17-18 when i first started reading your books… i have now made it a personal goal to buy everyone of your books both hard and soft back. i have 68 outta 95 and am still collecting. i have grown to love all your books and i really really hope to meet you Atleast once in this lifetime