What’s the etiquette for a book signing? Can I bring copies of older books from home for you to sign? How about Magic the Gathering cards? Should I buy the book at the store or get it somewhere else before attending? Can I take photos of you with me and my kids?

Here’s how a book signing works (usually):
When an author, or illustrator, is promoting their latest book they often have an event at a bookstore where they speak, read, draw, answer questions and sign the new book.

The usual rule of thumb is that you CAN bring books from your own collection to have signed, but the bookstore would like you to purchase the newest book from them.

Some pointers I’ve experienced in attending book signings as a fan:

  • If you are bringing a book(s) from home, make sure you check in at the front of the store. Usually there is some form or slip they give you indicating that the book(s) you hold are previously purchased.
  • If you are bringing Magic: the Gathering cards, please limit the amount to a handful of your favorite ones.
  • If you want the book signed as a gift for someone, be sure to get the correct spelling of their name beforehand.
  • I can’t tell you how sad it makes me when I sign a book for a child and the parent tells me “We’ll save this one so my child doesn’t damage the book.” I make my books for kids of all ages to enjoy. I don’t want them to sit on a shelf and never be loved. It’s just a signature, I’d be happy to sign a new copy if you want down the road, just send it to me.
  • Bring that camera! I am happy to take a photo with readers who cherish my work.

Of course, all these rules vary from place to place. You may want to call the store beforehand to answer any questions you may have.

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.