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Thinking of Left Coast Crime 2
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Left Coast Crime, where our book is busy representing us, continues this weekend. The book is somewhat handicapped in that it can't sign itself.

Among the things I avoid doing in public are book signings. When our novels were first published I undertook a few signings. They seemed to be part of the writer's job and I felt I owed our publisher my best efforts. However, for someone as uneasy in public as I am, being put on display at a table in the front of a bookstore is a profoundly humiliating experience.

The way it felt to me, I may as well have been wearing a big sign around my neck saying:

Here's Some Conceited Idiot
Posing As A Writer.
As if Anybody Cares!

For beginning writers, book signings are useful in building ties with booksellers, I've been told. But the store employees I dealt with mostly gave the impression they were annoyed at having to, as they saw it, waste valuable time catering to the ego of a literary nonentity. The most I ever accomplished at a booksigning was to maybe cost Sue Grafton a sale by blocking her display for an hour. (OK. OK. I admit it. "E Is For Envy")

The only signing I felt remotely comfortable doing was one at the Deadly Ink conference, since, presumably, all the folks who saw me sitting there had paid good money to get mixed up with mystery books, their perpetrators, and other mystery readers. Not that I felt I had anything particular to offer beyond what is in our novels, but I might at least have given some vastly knowledgeable mystery fan a thrill, akin to what a birdwatcher might feel at sighting a small and drab, but extremely rare, species of sparrow.

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